To ensure “ease of doing farming” in the drought-hit Tumakuru district, more than half a dozen of government departments have joined hands by roping in NGOs and launched a novel programme called “Raitharondige Navu’‘ (we are with farmers) for providing services, including counselling, for mitigating risks faced by small and marginal farmers.
Nine out of 10 taluks have been declared drought-hit in Tumakuru district and they are: Chikkanayakanahalli, Gubbi, Koratagere, Kunigal, Madhugiri, Pavagada, Shira, Tiptur, and Thuruvekere.
Launched at the hobli level, the objective of the “Raitharondige Navu” programme is to provide information on all activities of farming, horticulture, floriculture, sericulture, veterinary and marketing, insurance, bank loans, availability of subsidies under various schemes, soil health, fertilizer and pesticides to farmers at a one-stop-shop on the day of the weekly market (shandy day).
It has been made mandatory for hobli-level officials of the Revenue and the Agriculture Departments and its allied departments, such as the Animal Husbandry, the Horticulture, the Agricultural Marketing, the Fisheries, and the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, and the Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) to attend the programme.
The Halappa Foundation, headed by Muralidhara Halappa, and Sarvodaya Mandali have joined hands and successfully conducted programmes in five hoblis so far.
The programme initially mooted by Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and being implemented with the initiative of Mr. Halappa, has helped department officials to understand difficulties faced by farmers and helped small farmers in many ways, said Shivaraj Kuchanji, who owns a two-acre plot in Tumakuru rural.
While bank officials provide information on the types of documents to be produced by farmers for availing themselves of loans, the Agriculture Department officials provide tips about the necessity of taking insurance for crops to mitigate the climate-related risk.
Many farmers got information about diseases to cattle and crops through the programme, said farmer C.N. Ramesh, who met officials at the function held at C.S. Pura hobli in Gubbi taluk.
“In advance, we communicate the day of the programme to farmers of each hobli. We start the programme at noon and continue till 4 p.m. to ensure that all farmers attending the meeting get the opportunity to talk to officials,“ Mr. Halappa said.
The programme is organised at Santhe Maidan, Honnudike, Guluru hobli in Tumakuru taluk on Sunday.