Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda on Tuesday told the Legislative Council the State government will order an inquiry into the alleged irregularities of the Karnataka State Organic Farming Mission that was constituted during the Bharatiya Janata Party regime.
Replying to Bharatiya Janata Party member Bhanuprakash during Question Hour, the Minister said there were allegations of irregularities in utilising grants worth Rs. 500 crore.
However, the irregularities had been checked to some extent by “wise bureaucrats” by preventing the utilisation of the entire quantum of funds, he said.
He accused the mission of adopting an “exclusive policy” rather than being inclusive, while promoting the scheme among farmers. “The mission had about 300 groups of farmers per taluk. There were disparities as not all the farmers were allowed to be part of this group,” he alleged.
“Instead of promoting a comprehensive organic farming system, the mission only took up a few components of the system,” he said and said following various complaints, the mission had been transferred from the Agriculture Department to the Horticulture Department and re-launched as Amruthabhoomi project in 2012-13 itself,” he said. It will now be critically reviewed for ensuring better implementation, he said.
Looking for balance
The Minister announced that the government would now promote sustainable agricultural practices involving a balance between organic and inorganic farming depending upon the availability of resources. Agricultural universities had been asked to work in this regard.