Supreme Court Judge V.S. Gopala Gowda on Sunday observed that farmers would have got better prices for their produce if the governments had implemented the Crop Pattern Act 1964 that provided for regulating crops to be grown in different areas depending upon the needs and availability of resources.

Inaugurating the two-day Urban Krishi Mela being organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, to promote urban horticulture, Mr. Gopala Gowda pointed out that a crop regulation mechanism was in vogue in China.

He urged people, especially those in the urban areas, to be aware that farmers not getting remunerative prices for their crops.

“If the prices of onion or other vegetables increase, then there is a hue and cry. But why such a hue and cry is not there when the prices of lipsticks or other luxury produce are increased by MNCs? I am not justifying the increase in onion prices. But I want people to know that farmers are not getting good prices. Even the hike in onion prices would not have benefited them as middlemen would have cornered it,” he remarked and wondered why it had not been possible to eliminate the role of middlemen in agricultural markets.

He felt that active participation of the people in the “democratic process” was the only way to find a solution to such problems.

Pointing out that about 40 per cent of people were now living in urban areas, UAS, Bangalore, Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda said that there was a need to take up urban horticulture to fight food shortage.

Indian Council for Agricultural Research Deputy Director-General N.K. Krishna Kumar suggested that Bangalore should develop a few Japanese Gardens that comprise not only horticulture, lawns, fishery and aesthetics but also allow functions such as marriages to be conducted.

Horticulture Department Principal Secretary M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda urged people in urban areas to emulate the Chinese system where almost all households take up kitchen gardening to get nutritious vegetables and fruits.

The former Chief Secretary P.B. Mahishi stressed the need for turning the “garden city” of Bangalore into the “kitchen garden city of India”.