Over 11 lakh visit krishi mela; UAS to focus on creating effective marketing system for farm produce
The five-day National Krishi Mela being organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, concluded in a grand style with a record over three lakh people turning up on the last day of the event on Sunday. With this, the mela has set a new record by becoming the biggest ever farmers' event to have been held in the country with over 11 lakh farmers visiting the event since it began on November 16.
Endorsing this, the former vice-chancellor of Bihar University and veteran agricultural scientist D. G. Trivedi said it was the biggest krishi mela he had ever seen. Such was the massive response from people that various stalls put at the mela registered a total turnover of Rs. 6.5 crore in the five days through on-counter sales of products ranging from seeds to agricultural implements.
The mela was organised as a national event to help farmers from the State learn from the best practices and innovative cropping patterns as well as farm technologies from other States. The event also showcased latest researches on farming, new crop varieties and demonstration of efficient technologies for crop cultivation under different conditions besides cattle and poultry shows and exhibitions on organic farming and farm implements.
The highlight of the mela was that two innovative farm youth (male and female) from each taluk were honoured with an intention to instil confidence among them and to check the trend of youth migrating to cities by shunning agriculture.
UAS Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda toldThe Hinduthat now the university would focus on creating an effective marketing system for agricultural produce by linking farmers directly with consumers in a bid to prevent middlemen.
Speaking at the valedictory of the mela, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj stressed the need for setting up a separate national agriculture fund for the development of country's agricultural sector and farmers' welfare. Expressing concern that industrial growth was getting more priority as of now, he said that the real growth for the country could come only when priority was given to the sectors which take care of the basic needs of people such as food, clothing and shelter.
Mr. Bhardwaj urged the government and agricultural universities to help farmers sell their produce directly to consumers by avoiding middlemen so that they could get remunerative prices. Presently, middlemen were cornering a majority of profits, he pointed out.
He said farmers in India had to worry about getting quality education and healthcare to their wards unlike European countries where the governments had pumped in adequate subsidies to help farmers to get access to top quality healthcare as well as education to their children. He observed that it was the duty of everybody to help improve the living standards of the country's breadwinner — farmer. MLA Krishna Byre Gowda spoke.
Keywords: National Krishi Mela