Government mulls policy change to popularise Israeli model of farming

Agriculture minister N.H. Shivashankar Reddy releasing research books on agriculture at Krishi Mela in Dharwad on Sunday.

Agriculture minister N.H. Shivashankar Reddy releasing research books on agriculture at Krishi Mela in Dharwad on Sunday.  

This is to overcome practical problems in the implementation of the model in India

The State government is mulling over bringing in policy changes to popularise the Israeli model of farming, said Agriculture Minister N. H. Shivashankar Reddy.

Inaugurating the ‘Krishi Mela – 2018’, the four-day mega agricultural event at the University of Agricultural Sciences – Dharwad (UAS-D) here on Sunday, Mr. Reddy said an official study tour of Israel provided insights into how their model helps enhance yield of crops and bring in more income to farmers. However, there are practical hurdles to implementing it here, he said.

Small landholders

The Indian agricultural system differs a lot from that of Israel. India has large number of small landholders, while in Israel, farmers go for mass cultivation through cooperatives. They make largescale investments and use advanced technology, which was not feasible for the small landholders.

Implementing the Israel-model of farming here demands a change in the agriculture policy. The government was consulting experts on how it can be done, he said.

Considering the rise in expenses, this is the right time to adopt methods like zero-budget natural farming and organic farming, and revive ancient methods of farming. The State government would focus on encouraging farmers to go for these methods. Budgetary support too was provided for this purpose, he added.

Mr. Reddy stressed the need for cautious utilisation of the natural resources like water in farming. It was noticed that farmers were wasting huge amounts of water. To prevent this, the State government would bring in a new water policy.

Green gram production

Referring to the Central government’s scheme to provide support price for green gram, the minister said the Centre has allowed the State to buy 23,000 tones of green gram under this scheme. However, the total production of green gram in the State stands at 1.5 lakh ton. The State would send a proposal to the Centre seeking permission to buy more quantity of green gram under this scheme, he said.

Pashu Bhagya scheme

Dharwad MLA Amrut Desai said the Pashu Bhagya scheme of the previous government has been hit badly as the government has reduced budgetary allocation for this scheme.

He said for his constituency the government has restricted the number of beneficiaries to mere five whereas the number of applicants in the district was nearly 4,000, he said, and urged the minister to take up this matter at the government level to help the farmers, especially those from drought-hit regions.

Mr. Reddy gave away the Best Farmer and Best Farm Women awards on this occasion.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 3:46:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/government-mulls-policy-change-to-popularise-israeli-model-of-farming/article25022830.ece

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