Allocation for organic farming mission to be increased to Rs. 200 crore next year

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Saturday announced a slew of steps such as sending 500 organic farmers from the State on a study tour every year to Israel and Cuba, which have excelled in water conservation technology and organic farming.

He also promised to double the allocation to the Karnataka Organic Farming Mission from the present Rs. 100 crore.

Mr. Yeddyurappa made these announcements during his visit to the house of organic farmer couple Aparna and Siddalingappa of Maakanahalli in Tumkur district. He also had an interaction with organic farmers in their village.

This is the second visit of the Chief Minister under his programme to spend a day in a month with an organic farmer.

The Chief Minister said at present organic farming mission had identified 52,200 farmers in the State who had taken up ecologically sustainable agriculture on 71,000 hectares of land. The Government wanted at least one lakh additional farmers to move towards organic farming every year so that it would be possible to not only reduce indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, but also provide healthy food to people.

Mr. Yeddyurappa wanted organic farming to become a part of lifestyle in a bid to revive rural economy.

He assured farmers that he would set up outlets for sales of organic produce in all taluk and district centres. Pointing out that the users of chemical fertilisers were supported by subsidies that were given to the manufacturing units, he said he would take up the issue with the Centre to compensate organic farmers by providing some incentives for not using fertilisers.

KOFM Chairman S. A. Anand called for a change in the mindset of parents from rural areas who think that their children can excel in life only if they go to cities.