Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Thursday said that he has written to Union Agriculture and Agro-processing Minister Sharad Pawar to waive the loans given to pomegranate growers in the State, as their crops were damaged by diseases.

He was addressing farmers after presenting thje Krishi Ratna award posthumously to the former Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha president M.D. Nanjundaswamy to his son Pachche Nanjundaswamy and daughter Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Krishi Pandita and Krishi prashasti to achievers in agriculture, at a function organised by the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments.

The M.D. Nanjundaswamy Foundation founded by Nanjundaswamy was given a cash award of Rs.10 lakh.

Mr. Gowda said that his government had waived interest on loans taken by the pomegranate growers, but this was not sufficient and they needed more relief and that was why, he had written to the Centre.

Farmers' day

K.S. Puttanaiah, working president of KRRS, urged the Chief Minister to declare February 13, the birth anniversary of Nanjundaswamy, as farmers day and constitute a state agricultural prices commission.

Mr. Gowda, Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti, Horticulture Minister S.A. Ravindranath, Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar, Labour and Sericulture Minister B.N. Bache Gowda, Animal Husbandry Minister Revu Naik Belamagi presented awards to the farmers.

The 2010-11 state-level crop competition winners of three cash prizes of Rs.30,000, Rs.15,000 and Rs.10,000 in maize (irrigated) , ground nut (rain-fed), wheat (irrigated), Bengal gram (rain-fed) and sugarcane (irrigated) are: Baburrao Mallappa Jadhav, Suresh Parappa Kabadagi, G. Veeramma, Muruleedhara Malhar Kulkarni, S. Revanappa, H. Shekharappa, Jagadisha Kabadagi, Rajugowda Patil, Mahalingappa Beemappa Maranoora, Basantraya Babanna Chincholi, Susheelabai Chandrasekhara Denginavara, Subhash Basavantaraya Chincholi, Savita, Sagareppa Rangappa Nyamagouda and B.D. Kotresh.

The 2010-11 Krishi Pandita award with Rs. 25,000 cash prize in integrated agriculture and crop diversification was given to 14 farmers, first prize of Rs. 50,000, six prizes of Rs. 25,000 each were given under organic farming, one Rs.50,000 prize and three Rs. 25,000 prizes were given for efficient use of water and one Rs. 25,000 prize given for agriculture implements development.