Government shelves plan to privatise horticulture farms

Tender conditions not accepted by prospective bidders

Tenders were floated to privatise 13 horticulture farms and one of the conditions put a bar on developing resorts at farms. Since the conditions were not acceptable to private players, the privatisation exercise has been stalled.

“The Government would maintain the farms spread over 15,792 acres,” Horticulture Minister S A Ravindranath said at a press meet here on Saturday.

The Minister said 38 ‘Horticulture Clinics” have been set up across the State so far this year. The clinics would be developed on the lines of Raitha Samparka Kendras (farmers contact centres). Information on horticulture crops, subsidy, soil fertility, marketing etc would be disseminated through the clinics. The facility has been introduced to promote horticulture in the State. Hopcoms centres would be set up at taluk centres and major hoblis to provide a market for locally grown horticulture crops, Ravindranath said.

Denying any proposal to announce minimum support price for mango, the minister said that instead, attempts would be made to extend the market by organising mango melas.  
On the implementation of Suvarna Bhoomi project, Ravindranath said the officers must inspect the spot to ascertain whether the farmers have utilised the money to grow selected horticulture crops.

Disclosing that there were 1,600 vacancies in Horticulture department, the minister said the High Court had stayed the process to fill 448 vacancies following a petition by the physically-challenged candidates.

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