To meet the crop losses due to scarcity of rain and various crop diseases.

Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa told the Legislative Council here on Tuesday that the government has released Rs. 60 crore to meet the loss incurred by coconut growers in the State, due to scarcity of rain and various crop diseases.

Replying to S. Nagaraj of the Janata Dal (Secular) during Question Hour, he said that a Cabinet sub-committee formed to deal with the problem being encountered by coconut growers had prepared a Rs. 585-crore proposal to seek a special package from the Union government for rejuvenating devastated coconut groves due to lack of rain during the year.

Loan waiver

Minister for Cooperation H.S. Mahadeva Prasad said that the government had received interest subsidy bills worth Rs. 311.71 crore pertaining to agriculture loans under the Interest Subsidy Scheme on Crop Loans and the government had released Rs. 194.33 crore to settle these bills.

“The balance amount will be released to the cooperative societies shortly,” the Minister said.

Yashasvini

The Yashasvini health insurance scheme would be extended to urban co-operative societies in February 2014. Replying to M.R. Hulinayakar of the Janata Dal (S), Mr. Mahadeva Prasad said that the scheme would be introduced to urban people. “Health insurance will be available at subsidised price for members of urban co-operative societies,” he said.

Organic farming

Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda said that the government was contemplating marketing organically grown fruits and vegetables through select Horticultural Producers Cooperative Marketing and Processing Societies (HOPCOMS).

Replying to Ashwathnarayan of the BJP, he said that that the government was encouraging farmers to take up organic farming in a big way. A “Savyava Bhagya” scheme would be launched on a 100-hectare plot each in every hobli to encourage farmers to take up organic farming, he said.

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