The State Government has set a target of 73 lakh hectares to be covered during the coming kharif season and taken steps to supply eight lakh quintals of seeds at subsidised prices.
The foodgrain production target for 2011-12 has been set at 140 lakh tonnes. Production was 128 lakh tonnes in 2010-11, while the target was 125 lakh tonnes.
Minister for Agriculture Umesh V. Katti, who held a meeting with department officials on Saturday, said arrangements had been made to supply seeds and fertilizers to all taluk headquarters by May 15. The State had a buffer stock of 4.5 lakh tonnes of various fertilizers. The fertilizer requirement for 2011-12 was estimated at 29 lakh tonnes, he said.
Certified and hybrid seeds will be distributed through Raitha Samparka Kedras at subsidised prices. While 50 per cent subsidy has been fixed for certified seeds, it is 25 per cent for hybrid seeds. About 12 lakh quintals of seeds will be distributed to farmers during the kharif and rabi seasons.
The agricultural sector recorded spectacular growth (5.7 per cent) in 2010-11. This increase is attributed mainly to a good monsoon and higher production of foodgrains, especially pulses (31.63 per cent), oilseeds (32.14 per cent) and sugarcane (6.63 per cent), he said.
Stating that implementation of the Bhoo Chetana programme had led to an increase in soil fertility and yield, Mr. Katti said the programme would be extended to all districts from this kharif season.
The Universities of Agricultural Sciences in the State have agreed to offer diploma courses to overcome the shortage of technical personnel in rural areas. Diploma and certificate courses would be offered in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and fisheries from the coming academic year.