The country's biggest farmers' event, the National Krishi Mela organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, starts here on Wednesday.

The five-day event, in which about 10 lakh farmers are expected to participate, will be held on the university's campus from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

Though the Krishi Mela is organised every year, this is the first time the event is being held on a national scale.

With the country being haunted by an agrarian crisis, the mela plays a crucial role as it showcases the latest technologies, crop patterns and new varieties that can make agriculture a profitable venture.

It also instils confidence among farmers by presenting the experiences of successful farmers and provides a platform for them to meet scientists to seek clarifications on specific issues.

The university is expecting a minimum of 2,500 farmers from other States.

This will help farmers from Karnataka learn from the best practices in other parts of the country, UAS Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda said.

A farmer-to-farmer platform has also been created to facilitate exchange of innovative ideas.

Crop museums

This year, the university has set up crop museums that give live demonstrations of various varieties of crops on the field in different farming conditions. In addition to this, steps have been taken to set up crop-wise counters to provide details on all major crops.

Technology

Arrangements have been made to present appropriate technologies and patterns to suit different farming situations.

The idea is to ensure that all farmers get information relevant to them.

The mela will provide information ranging from dryland farming to precision farming and biotechnology-related research.

Organic farming

Keeping in view the increasing focus on organic farming, special arrangements have been made to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of organic farming, besides setting up an exhibition of organic products. An exhibition of farm implements is also being held to showcase new arrivals in the field of farm mechanisation. University scientists will provide on-the-spot solutions to various crop-related problems of farmers through a consultancy cell at the mela.

The mela will showcase over 600 stalls.

Animal husbandry

Of course, the focus is on integrated farming, including all allied sectors of agriculture. A cattle show displaying rare cattle breeds is also being held for the first time, besides providing information on innovative practices related to animal husbandry.

While six new varieties of crops brought out by the university will be released during the mela, several varieties in the pipeline will also be on display.

Banks' participation

The participation of all nationalised banks along with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has added a new dimension to the mela as they are set to create awareness among farmers on loan facilities available under various farm projects.

As many as 236 innovative farmers will be honoured during the mela.