The State will have an exclusive policy for rain-fed agriculture by the end of next year as a large number of farmers with dry land were dependent on the monsoon, said Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda.

Speaking to presspersons here on Wednesday, he said that a discussion with agriculture experts was in the initial stages and the policy would focus on the latest technology and farming systems that would help farmers get more productivity and quality crops. An interactive session on dry land farming involving experts would be held on September 21.

Mr. Byre Gowda said that sowing has been completed in 70 lakh hectares of the targeted 74 lakh hectares. He said that 169 hoblis were facing shortage of rain sometime ago. However, only 30 hoblis have reported rain shortage now raising hopes of a good yield this year. He said that while the target was 130 lakh tonnes of foodgrains, there was a possibility of yield being in excess.

The Minister said that a draft of the proposed Agricultural Price Commission would be ready by next month and it would be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for approval.

The commission would be vested with statutory powers to implement its decisions for improving quality of farming.

He said that about 33 per cent of foodgrains was going waste due to lack of infrastructure such as warehouses and cold storages.

The Cabinet, he said, had approved providing warehouses in rural areas for which interest subsidy would be given. Cold storages would be built and leased to private parties.

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