Emphasising on the need for ensuring that the outcomes of farm research reached farmlands, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called on the farm universities to take up extensive research on developing rain-fed agriculture in dry lands.
Inaugurating the four-day annual Krishi Mela 2023 at the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Dharwad on Saturday, the CM said that at present, around 60% of the people were dependent on agriculture and despite agriculture being the main occupation of the country, many were turning away from farming because of viability issues.
Climate change resulting deficit rainfall had caused problems in the field of rain-fed agriculture and there was need for more research into it so as to make dryland agriculture more viable, he said.
Emphasising the role of farm universities in attracting the youth towards agriculture, he said the research by farm universities would useful only when the benefits of research and new technologies reached the farmlands. “The Krishi Melas should not be just limited to becoming just fairs related to agriculture, but they should attract the youth and newcomers to the field of agriculture,” he said.
The CM also emphasised the need for further research in dryland farming so that if the main crop failed to deficit rainfall, then there should be an alternative crop so that the losses are minimised, he said.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that with the relaunch of Krishi Bhagya and Krishi Yantra Dhara Schemes, farmers especially small and marginal farmers would be benefitted. To help the small farmers, steps had already been taken to provide advanced harvesting machines, he said.
He said that already it had been announced that the farmers would get ‘zero interest loan’ up to ₹5 lakhs and upto ₹15 lakhs at 3% rate of interest.
On the Benni Halla project, he said that the DPR (Detailed Project Report) would be finalised soon and project would be initiated at the earliest.
On the occasion, Minister of Agriculture N. Chaluvarayaswamy released special publications of Krishi University and the Chief Minister honoured woman farmers and progressive farmers with farm awards.
Minister for Labour and district In-charge Minister Santosh Lad, chief whip of Legislative council Saleem Ahmed, MLAs Prasad Abbaiah, N.H. Konaraddi, Basavaraja Shivannanavar, host of senior government officials, were present.