The rise in food prices that has become a constant refrain, is a reflection of the exponential rise in the cost of production that farmers grapple with, Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda has said.

Almost every aspect of farming has become expensive — whether labour cost, manure or diesel, he said. This predicament has to be addressed, both to increase production and to improve the quality of life, Mr. Byre Gowda said at the inauguration of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore here on Thursday.

Internationally, whether in China or the Philippines, productivity is higher by up to 50 per cent, he said and added that this is where agricultural universities played a vital role, in educating farmers about efficient practices.

Farmers are denied support in two major sector — education and health, said Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj in his inaugural address. “These last 50 years have seen advances in agriculture in the country. But the system still does not accord protection to the farmer,” he said.

UAS Bangalore Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda spoke.

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