“Let me assure the farmers that the government will not offer their precious land to the investors. A few vested interests are misleading the farmers about the summit which, in no way, will affect them. In fact, its very aim is to protect their interests and help them,” Gowda said on Day Two of the Rashtriya Krishi Mela at the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) here on Thursday.
According to Gowda, the government wants to create market for the farm produce and the conduct of the summit was a step in that direction. The summit will help the farmers get suitable prices for their produce.
“The farmers need not be afraid. They should not heed for rumours,” he said.
The chief minister admitted that growers of onion, sugarcane, and silk cocoon in Karnataka faced a lot of problems. The government was doing its best to address them, he stressed. No doubt, farmers were getting a raw deal from sugarcane factories that were unwilling to cooperate with the government in fixing the price but steps were being taken to solve those issues, Gowda said. The government would shortly write to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar seeking his intervention.
30 pc MSP
Gowda said that Rs five crore had been released to provide 30 per cent of the minimum support price (MSP) to silk cocoon growers who were struggling to make both ends meet after the import duty on raw silk was slashed from 30 to five per cent. He said that the government would strive towards improving their condition.
The chief minister also spoke about various schemes introduced by the government to help the farmers. Among them is the farm loan at an interest rate of one per cent.
Earlier, Gowda felicitated 50 achievers, men and women, in farming. He said that he felt happier honouring the farmers who toil hard without caring for recognition.
On the occasion, two farmers — Gangaiah from Magadi taluk of Ramanagara district and Chandrashekar Basanagouda Patil from Kalghatgi taluk of Dharwad district — were honoured with the Dr M H Marigowda State-level Best Horticultural Farmer Award for 2011-12.
The award, which comes with Rs 5,000 cash, a memento and a certificate, recognises best horticultural practices. Gangaiah grew 40 tonnes of pumpkin on his 11 acres of land in just three-and-a-half months. Patil grew various mixed crops on his seven acres of land. He also implemented drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation techniques.
Eight farmers — four men and four women — from Hassan, Mandya, Davangere, and Kolar districts were honoured with the Best District-level Farmer Award that carries Rs 2,000 cash, a memento, and a certificate. In addition, 40 young farmers — 20 men and 20 women — were presented the Best Taluk-level Farmer Award that comes with Rs 1,000 cash, a memento, and a certificate.
Among the young awardees, 14 were from Hassan, 10 from Mandya, and eight each from Davangere and Kolar districts. Minister for Horticulture and Sugar S A Ravindranath and others were present.