Monday, October 4, 2010

Remunerative price to farmers need of the hour

The Central government should evolve a policy of announcing remunerative price for agricultural produces in advance to bail out farmers from possible distress said Karnataka minister for rural development and panchayat raj Jagadish Shettar.

Presiding over the function to inaugurate the Krishi Mela-2010 and Jilla Krishi Utsav at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) here on Sunday he said such a move on the part of the Centre would enable farmers to decide what to produce and how much to produce. "At present there is no efficient system of revising the prices of the agriculture produces. As a result the prices of certain agriculture produces have not been revised for four or five years. There is an ardent need to have a system to revise the prices of the agriculture produces so that the farmers do not fall into a debt trap," Shettar said.

The minister said, Karnataka government’s decision to provide credit to the farmers at 3 per cent interest rate was a revolutionary step and many other state governments have later emulated Karnataka’s example and introduced the same scheme in their respective states. He wanted the Centre to extend the scheme throughout the country and arrange for agriculture credit at 3 per cent interest rates through the nationalised banks, he said.

Shettar informed that steps were being taken to solve the problem of flash flooding at Bennehalla permanently and an expert committee under the chairmanship of Paramashivaiah has been constituted. The committee has recommended construction of check dams at regular distance to contain the flood and enable farmers to irrigate lands.

Minister for primary and secondary education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri who was the chief guest expressed concern over people migrating from rural areas to urban centres and said it could be contained by improving the living conditions in rural areas.He urged the UAS to focus on conserving traditional varieties of seeds particularly in paddy. Kageri said, Uttara Kannada district had the potential to become a model district in horticulture and asked experts to extend a helping hand to the district.

Earlier, inaugurating the Krishi Mela, minister for agriculture Umesh Katti said the government was committed to safeguarding the interests of farmers. But, much depended on the policies of Centre. He said he would meet the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture minister to discuss the problems faced by the farmers and ask for remedial measures. Hailing the achievements of UAS (Dharwad) he said the government would continue to support the institution.

BS Reporter

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