Suvarna Bhoomi’ scheme has not been able to appeal to the farmers of the region. Despite the district administration extending the last date for receiving applications thrice, the response of the farmers has been minimal when compared to the expectation of the authorities concerned. The district has received only 22,821 applications though the target for the district was to get 27,841 beneficiaries.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Agriculture department Joint Director Padmaiah Naik said
that the last date for filing the applications under the scheme was extended twice. Initially, April 25 was the last date, which was extended to April 30, later it was further extended to May 7. Still the applications received is far below the target. The applications received in various taluks are as follows—Mangalore (669), Bantwal (3,281), Belthangady (3,412), Puttur (6,402) and Sullia (9,057).
Of all the districts, Naik said, Mangalore taluk has received very less applications and the Department cannot do anything to boost the numbers because it is ultimately the farmers who have to voluntarily come forth to accept the schemes without any reservations.
The farmer leaders say that the main reason for farmers not wanting to utilise the scheme is because their mainstay, Paddy has not been included in the scheme list. Further intercrop cultivation (growing more than one crop on a patch of land) in the existing horticulture plantation is not allowed under this scheme. These are the two major reasons that department sees as an obstacle to take the scheme forward in the district.
Naik says that he and the Deputy Commissioner had separately written to the State government requesting for the inclusion of paddy in the scheme. “If paddy is included then we can expect the graph to progress in the district,” he says.
Agriculture department had prepared a target for 16,704 beneficiaries, horticulture department had a target of 6,960 and the fisheries department had the target to find 1,392 beneficiaries in the district. In pulses and oil seeds category, the target was 1,000 beneficiaries. However, the application received is only 739. “This may be because oil seeds are not grown in large scale in Dakshina Kannada,” Naik said.
He says “under the scheme, farmers with land holdings of up to five acres can claim Rs 10,000 for developing a maximum of two acres of their land to start horticulture, build fish-breeding ponds, agriculture, sericulture, high yielding oil seeds, pulse cultivation or apiculture in two installments directly through banks or cooperative societies. The amount of financial aid released to a farmer will be proportionate to the land holdings.
The scheme will also help in cultivating horticulture crops such as mango, banana, pineapple, papaya and others. There is good demand for cultivation of arecanut, banana and coconut under horticulture produces in some taluks in the district. In Sullia taluk alone, as many as 7,990 applications have been received under horticulture crops category.
Naik informed that at present the department is scrutinising the applications received from the farmers and the data entry process is on.