Staff Reporter

Bill to be introduced in Assembly during budget session

First government-appointed viticulturist in country, B. Gopal, felicitated

Horticultural colleges to be established in Kolar, Chitradurga and two in north Karnataka

BANGALORE: Despite opposition to the setting up of a horticultural university in the State, Minister for Horticulture S.K. Bellubbi has said that a Bill to establish such a university will be placed before the Assembly in the budget session beginning July 17.

‘Required for R&D’

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday at a ceremony to felicitate B. Gopal, the country’s first government-appointed viticulturist, the Minister said a separate university was necessary for furthering research and training in horticulture.

Asked about the opposition to the bifurcation of horticulture from the University of Agricultural Sciences, he said, “The Horticulture Department has been bifurcated from the Agriculture Department, and there is a need for a separate horticultural university.” The university was for the entire State and not for one particular region, he said.

MLA’s appeal

Mr. Bellubbi was reacting to an appeal by Krishna Byregowda, MLA, to reconsider the proposal for setting up a horticultural university. “Is there a need to set up separate universities for horticulture, agriculture and fisheries? Horticulture is a part of agriculture, and the Government should consult experts before taking the decision.”

Colleges

Mr. Bellubbi also said that the Ministry had proposed to set up four horticultural colleges in the State, which would function under the university. “Colleges will come up in Kolar, Chitradurga and two locations in north Karnataka, and we are awaiting budgetary allocation for setting up these colleges,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Gopal was felicitated by Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda. The event was organised by the Bharatiya Vruksha Krishi Sangha to celebrate the 81st birthday of the veteran viticulturist. The former Horticulture Minister K. Srinivas Gowda was present.

Replying to the felicitation, Mr. Gopal recalled the efforts of M.H. Marigowda, the State’s first Horticulture Director, in popularising horticulture among farmers. “It was due to his efforts that free distribution of horticultural plants was taken up in the State,” he said.

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