The aim is to help increase farmers’ income

The State government has chosen 1,000 villages in different parts of the State to promote integrated farming models among farmers in a bid to increase their income and make agriculture a profitable venture, according to Karnataka Krishi Mission Chairman S.A. Patil.

Participating at a panel discussion on ‘Technology as a driver of growth: ensuring farm prosperity’, organised by the IndoAsiancommodities.com in Bangalore on Tuesday, Dr. Patil said efforts would be made to convince farmers in the 1,000 villages to take up multiple activities in agriculture and allied activities, instead of resorting to farming alone.

Other avenues

Activities such as animal husbandry, apiculture, sericulture, rose cultivation, horticulture, nursery, fisheries and floriculture will be promoted with farming, he said.

This scheme would be implemented through the Agriculture Department, with the involvement of research organisations, including agricultural universities, he said.

He said such a measure was being undertaken as integrated farming was the only way to increase farmers’ income.

Similar model

In every village, efforts would be made to set up an integrated farming model so that others could learn from it. He indicated that some of this would be a replication of the integrated farming models created by the University of Agricultural Sciences in 75 villages of Tubugere hobli of Doddaballapur taluk.

The State government had provided Rs. 50 crore for implementing the scheme this year. This scheme is expected to be implemented in all the 1,000 villages in about five years, he said. UAS-B Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda said services of innovative farmers of the areas concerned would be used in training other farmers under this scheme.

Criticised

When asked if the government was going in the wrong direction by bifurcating existing agricultural universities at a time when the need of the hour was integrated farming, Dr. Patil said a large number of agricultural experts, including himself, were concerned over such a development in the State. “I am certainly not happy with such developments,” he said, while hoping that some day the government would convert these specialised universities into integrated ones.