Staff Correspondent

The Government will also upgrade the APMC at Karatagi

Raichur: After sanctioning a steel corridor in Koppal district, the Government will now set up a Rice Technology Park near Kanakagiri there. It has also planned to upgrade the existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at Karatagi.

The Government had already identified about 10,000 acres of land between Boodgumpa Cross and Kustagi along National Highway 13 last year for the steel corridor, but so far no entrepreneurs have come forward to purchase any land. The Government will not directly be involved in acquiring land at the zone. The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has been entrusted with the responsibility of acquiring land for entrepreneurs who intend to set up steel industries in the corridor.

According to official sources, the Government plans to set up the Rice Technology Park to boost paddy processing and rice production as per the recommendations of a committee headed by P.G. Chengappa, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. The committee had also recommended the upgrading of the existing APMC at Karatagi so that farmers were provided with better marketing facilities. These two facilities will serve as main marketing points for farmers and traders from Bellary, Koppal and Raichur districts where paddy is being cultivated on a large scale. The sources said that although more than 200 rice mills had been functioning in Bellary, Koppal and Raichur districts, a huge quantity of paddy was being transported to Tamil Nadu for processing owing to the lack of necessary infrastructure in the region. The Rice Technology Park and the new APMC would allow farmers and traders to market their produce at one point and also improve paddy processing at existing rice mills.

In its recommendations, the committee has suggested that the Government set up the Rice Technology Park at Navali village near Karatagi on 300 acres of land. This will not only improve the marketing and processing of paddy but will also help in the faster development of agriculture in the region, they added.