Chief Minister says agricultural land will not be acquired for entrepreneurs participating in agri meet
The State Government on Friday claimed that the number of farmer suicides declined in the last three years after the Bharatiya Janata Party Government implemented welfare measures such as reducing the interest rate of cooperative loans to 1 per cent, Bhoo Chetana, organic farming system, dryland development and cash incentive of Rs.10,000 each to 10 lakh farmer families.
Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda told presspersons that 342 farmers committed suicide in 2007-08, 337 in 2008-09, 290 in 2009-10, 242 in 2010-11 and 79 during 2011-12 and said the statement that 2,500 farmers had committed suicide was false.
Mr. Gowda said a two-day Global Agri-Business and Food Processing Summit would be organised at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on Tumkur Road from December 1.
It would be inaugurated by the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. The summit was intended to attract investment of Rs. 51,727 crore for upgradation of basic agricultural infrastructure, modernisation, processing, agriculture, horticulture and tourism sectors. More than 450 investors from Mumbai and New Delhi had registered for the event.
Mr. Gowda said discussions were on for signing MoU for Rs.40,000 crore. Road shows have been held in Israel, the Netherlands and France and investors were coming from Australia and Canada to provide technology. Most entrepreneurs were having captive power generation and concentrated on perishable items such as fruits, flowers and vegetables. The government was in possession of 4,000 hectares of the 18,000 hectares required by the investors and only dry and barren lands would be utilised for the purpose.
Promising that no agricultural land would be acquired, Mr. Gowda said that land would not be transferred to entrepreneurs participating in the summit.
A special purpose vehicle — Karnataka Agri-Business Development Board — had been set up under the KEPEC to supervise the process of agri-business investment.
The Chief Minister clarified that GMC would not be used and corporate monopolising would not be allowed, but it would not come in the way of farmers earning profit from agri-business.
The Shimoga University of Agriculture would be established soon, he said.
On the progress made in the investigation of the murder of Siddalingappa, a farmer, who lost land in the NICE area, the Chief Minister said that accused persons had been arrested and an impartial inquiry was on.