Nagesh Prabhu

Scheme encourages States to increase public investment in agriculture abd allied sectors

BANGALORE: The Union Government has allocated Rs. 410 crore to the State under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for re-orienting development strategies in agricultural and allied sectors in 2009-10.

The scheme was launched in 2007-08 and the State spent Rs. 152 crore and Rs. 314 crore, respectively in 2007-08 and 2008-09. The objectives of the programme are to encourage the States to increase public investment in agriculture and allied sectors, and achieve 4 per cent growth rate in the sector at the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12).

The funds allocated this year will be utilised for development of APMCs, construction of godowns in rural areas, implementation of Bhoo Chetana programme, development of fisheries, to impart technology and marketing facilities to farmers and implementation of projects under other agricultural allied activities, officials in the Agriculture Department told The Hindu. The State Level Sanctioning Committee meeting on July 30, under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao, approved projects worth Rs. 339.36 crore. The next meeting will finalise projects for the remaining Rs. 70.64 crore.

The approved projects will be implemented by Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, and Agricultural Marketing departments, University of Agricultural Sciences of Dharwad and Bangalore, Karnataka State Seeds Corporation, Karnataka Warehousing Corporation and the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.

Of the Rs. 410 crore, Rs. 5 crore has been allocated for development of APMCs in Raichur, Gulbarga, Belgaum, Bijapur, Gadag, Chitradurga, Koppal, Bagalkot, Bellary and Mandya districts. A sum of Rs. 8 crore has been sanctioned for construction of godowns in rural areas of Gulbarga, Bagalkot, Gadag, Davangere and Haveri districts.

The committee allocated Rs. 14 crore for implementing the Bhoo Chetana programme to improve soil fertility and crop yield in dry-land areas in 24 districts. A major objective of the programme is to increase crop yield by 20 per cent in dry-land areas. The programme is being implemented in Kolar, Chickaballapur, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Haveri, Dharwad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bellary, Koppal, Gadag, Davangere, Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Belgaum, Ramanagara, Bangalore (Rural), Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Hassan, and Mandya districts.

Officials said Rs. 100 crore has been allocated to the Karnataka State Seeds Corporation for procurement and distribution of seeds, Rs. 60 crore for promoting mechanised farming, Rs. 22.5 crore for diversification of horticultural crops, Rs. 41.5 crore for programmes of the Animal Husbandry Department, Rs. 18.69 crore for development of fisheries and Rs. 27.5 for UAS of Dharwad and Bangalore, for research activities.