‘Horticultural farmers must set up crop-based cooperative societies’

V. Prakash, former director, CFTRI, speaking at the 7th foundation day of the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences in Shivamogga on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: VAIDYA

V. Prakash, former director, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, has underscored the need for the formation of cooperative societies of farmers engaged in cultivation of horticultural crops to ensure better price for their produce.

On the model of cooperative societies and federations of milk producers, even the farmers engaged in cultivation of fruits and vegetables should form cooperative societies. As the problems faced by mango growers are different from those engaged in cultivation of watermelon, such societies are needed. Apart from marketing of produce, the societies can also promote activities related to research on pest and fungal infestations and value addition. Farm sciences universities should extend necessary cooperation to farmers in this regard, he said, at a programme here on Saturday to mark the seventh foundation day of University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga.

Expressing concern over the impact of climate change on the farm sector, he called upon agriculture scientists to research the effects of the climate change on the yield of horticulture crops, change in the size of fruits and vegetables and their nutritional value. Though arecanut is a major crop of Malnad and coastal Karnataka, much research has not been done on the impact of climate change on its yield.

Referring to the wrong notions about the impact of arecanut on human health, he said the onus was on farm scientists to dispel these myths and instil confidence among growers.

Mr. Prakash urged for the declaration of the Western Ghat region, that is home to a rare variety of medicinal plants, as an Ayurveda valley. The farmers should also be motivated to take up the cultivation of medicinal plants that will augment their income, he added.

Manjunatha K. Naik, Vice-Chancellor; and V. Veerabhadraiah, Neetu Yogiraj Patil, B.A. Ramesh Hegde, M.H. Chandrappa and M.H. Krishnamurthy, members of its Board of Management, were present.

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