Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil inaugurated Krishi Mela in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) Dharwad on Sunday.
Karnataka government plans to release diesel subsidy to farmers using tractors on the lines of subsidy given to fishermen, he said.
“Under the Raitha Shakti scheme, farmers who own up to five acre land will be given a subsidy of ₹25 per litre for 10 litre of diesel. It is estimated that a farmer has to burn 25 litre of diesel for tilling all his land till harvesting. The government has decided to pay a subsidy of ₹1,250 to each farmer as diesel subsidy. A total of 69 lakh farmers will benefit from this subsidy scheme which will be introduced very shortly,’’ he said.
Mr. Patil said that farming should become an industry and farmers entrepreneurs so that farming becomes a profitable venture. To ensure this, the government will focus on value-addition of crops. This holds the key to increasing the revenue of the farmers, he said.
“I urge farmers to not to not stick to the age-old traditional practices of cultivation, but to adopt newer technologies to enhance their income,’’ he said.
Mr. Patil said the government was funding research into ways to help farmers fight climate change.
“Across the State, agricultural universities are coming up with new varieties of crops and better farm implements. The government was funding the farm universities and their research centres, that would focus on methods and techniques that could help the farmers fight climate change,’’ he said.
“These include advanced research on crops that are drought and salinity-resistant so that the farmers do not incur losses due to climate change. The farmers should gain knowledge on the changing agriculture scenario and make use of the improved seed quality breed to get high yields,’’ he said.
“Today’s youth should be inclined towards agriculture and adopt new practices like the value-addition of crops so that they can improve their economic standards. Universities and the government are documenting success stories of some progressive farmers who have increased their income more than three folds in the last year. Such stories should motivate the young farmers to grow as entrepreneurs,’’ he said .
It is not true that agriculture is loss-making. To earn profits, new technologies and high-yielding crops should be cultivated, he said. The rain pattern has changed and the State is receiving excess rainfall. Heavy rains have been playing spoilsport and losses are witnessed every year.
“A joint survey report on crop loss is just completed. Based on that, the government has released ₹400 crore towards crop loss relief. The Central government will release more funds, once the central team that inspected crop loss submits its report,’’ he said.
Member of Legislative Assembly Amrut Desai, Bayalu Seme Development Board Chairman Tavanappa Astagi, UAS Acting Vice-Chancellor R. Basavarajappa and others were present.