Kolar-Chikkaballapur Milk Union president S Ramesh, who inaugurated the programme said the farm budget should lay emphasis on bridging the gap between the production cost and market price of the agriculture produce.
S R Chandrashekhar, an organic farmer of Nenamanahalli said the budget should incorporate measures to ensure profitable price for the farm produce.
He said suitable checks and balances should be put in place to ensure that the growers were not compelled to strew the produce on streets for want of profitable price. He also sought more emphasis on protecting fading crop varieties, animal husbandry and price forecasting.
K N Tyagaraj, another farmer, said it was irrelevant to debate the need for a farm budget. He said the present government has embarked upon a task which none of the earlier dispensations took up.
He suggested that the maiden budget should be based on a study of farming-dependent districts such as Kolar and Chikkaballapur.
Another farmer, S Chandrashekhar said the government should restrain from acquiring farm land for industrial purposes and called for framing a policy on the issue.
‘No separate revenue’
However, District Chamber of Commerce and Industries member B Suresh was sceptical of the outcome.
He said there was no source of revenue to arrive at the annual financial statement.
“Even the revenue of the government has become fixed during the VAT regime. Its a formidable task to frame a budget with limited income. The best thing that can be done is to separate relevant portions from the general budget,” he said.
R Dayanand of J P Vichara Vedike said chief minister should at first introspect on realisation of the targets set in the earlier budgets and later think of agriculture budget.
District Cooperative Union member M Govinda Gowda suggested that services should be extended to farmers at nominal price, but not free. He urged to set up soil testing centres at all Gram Panchayats.
The participants also suggested emphasis on welfare of small and medium farmers, setting up a information system on market price of farm produce and other measures for the welfare of farmers. Manvantara Publications had organised the interaction.