S.A. Ravindranath, Minister for Horticulture and district in-charge, said here on Thursday that nine more horticultural colleges would be set up in the State, including one in Davanagere. These colleges would offer diploma courses in horticulture, he added.

Speaking after unfurling the national flag on Republic Day, Mr. Ravindranath said that the colleges would be set up on at least 250 acres.

Stating that the pomegranate crop had been affected by bacterial blight, he said that the loss incurred by farmers had been put at Rs. 300 crore.

S.S. Pattana Shetty, Deputy Commissioner; Gutti Jamboonath, chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat; and H.S. Venkatesh, Superintendent of Police, were present.