It has been a great success in neighbouring Karnataka though little has been done to adopt the innovation in the State of its origin.
The Bhoochetana Programme to rejuvenate soil health, developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here, has entered its third phase in Karnataka, where farmers have reaped huge gains from its adoption.
What it does
The procedure focuses on rain-fed areas – 70 per cent of Karnataka’s cultivable land relies on rainfall for agriculture. Rainwater is held in farm ponds that have plastic sheets laid on their bed, so that the water would not seep into the ground. It is then pumped to farms through the drip irrigation system so that not even a drop is wasted, and the crop gets the required quantity of water at the right time for a better yield.
Disclosing these details along with ICRISAT Director-General David Bergvinson on Monday, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda said the State spent 80 per cent of the cost of each unit of Rs.1.2 lakh, and remainder was to be borne by the farmer.
“We are involving as many as eight international organisations in implementing and improving the programme so that the yield will be increased. Under Bhoochetana Plus programme, farmers are getting a return of Rs.15 per every Rs.3 invested,” said Mr. Byregowda, adding that the success of the programme had caught worldwide attention.
The Karnataka Minister said they were on the cusp of the third phase of programme, which involved molecular-based farming that would be climate-change resistant.
Towards this end, the State would sign an agreement with ICRISAT and Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences producing non-GM genomic breed. A consortium would be formed for this purpose which would be funded by the Government of Karnataka.
Dr. Bergvinson said ICRISAT intended to have more partnerships of the kind they have with Karnataka. Director of Agriculture B.K. Dharmarajan, ICRISAT Development Centre Director S.P. Wani and others were present.
Under Bhoochetana Plus programme, farmers are getting a return of Rs.15 per every Rs.3 invested
Karnataka Agriculture Minister