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`Poor marketing has caused distress among farmers'

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AN INITIATIVE FOR FARMERS: Minister for Forest and Environment C. Chennigappa (third from left) greeting Planning Commission member V.L. Chopra at the launch of the bio-resource complex project in Bangalore on Friday. (From left) Shantamma Maddurappa , Bangalore Rural Zilla Panchayat President; Narasimhaswamy, MLA; S. Natesh, Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, and M.N. Sheelavantar, Vice-Chancellor, UAS, Bangalore, are seen. Photo: K. Gopinathan
AN INITIATIVE FOR FARMERS: Minister for Forest and Environment C. Chennigappa (third from left) greeting Planning Commission member V.L. Chopra at the launch of the bio-resource complex project in Bangalore on Friday. (From left) Shantamma Maddurappa , Bangalore Rural Zilla Panchayat President; Narasimhaswamy, MLA; S. Natesh, Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, and M.N. Sheelavantar, Vice-Chancellor, UAS, Bangalore, are seen. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Special Correspondent

Bio-resource complex project will ensure fair prices for farm produce: V.L. Chopra

The Centre has granted Rs. 4.5 crore for the project 6,642 farmer families in Doddaballapur taluk will benefit from it

BANGALORE: V.L. Chopra, member of the Planning Commission, has said farmers are in distress in the country on account of the unorganised marketing system and low prices of produce.

Inaugurating a bio-resource complex project of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, at Hadonahalli in Doddaballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district, he said farmers were in distress even in Punjab, an agriculturally progressive State. According to a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation, nearly 40 per cent of the farmers in the country were ready to give up agriculture for alternative occupations, he added.

The Department of Biotechnology, under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, has provided Rs. 4.5 crore for the implementation of the project over the next five years. Under the project, farmers will benefit from technology, market intervention, quality inputs, credit, insurance, storage technology, and information about climatic conditions.

Dr. Chopra said implementation of the project in rural areas would ensure that farmers got reasonable prices for produce through a proper marketing system. With the involvement of local bodies and farm scientists, technical inputs would be provided to them. Participation of women would enhance the sustainability of the project, he added.

The project will benefit 6,642 farmer families in 51 villages in the five gram panchayats of Tubagere hobli in Doddaballapur taluk. In the first year, project activities will be taken up in two panchayats.

C. Chennigappa, Minister for Forest and Environment and Minister in charge of Bangalore Rural district, stressed the need for a close link between the Department of Agriculture and farmers. He instructed officials of agricultural produce marketing committees to deal firmly with middlemen who were trading in farm produce.

S. Natesh, Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, said projects similar to the bio-resource complex were being implemented in Maharashtra, Uttaranchal and Orissa by agricultural universities.

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