Bill to allow leasing of farmland

Bill to allow leasing of farmland

The State government on Tuesday tabled in the Legislative Assembly a Bill to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, to allow farmers to lease out their agricultural land to private agro companies. Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda tabled the bill.

The Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2012  also seeks to include agro industries, post-harvest operations and agro infrastructure within the definition of agriculture. It also proposes to allow farmers to lease out their land to agro companies for a specified period. The agro companies in turn will have to use technology to increase yield on the leased land.

Cultivation and harvest of ­­­the farm produce will have to be taken up by private players, sources in the agriculture department said. At the same time, agro companies entering into a lease agreement will have to utilise value-added services in agriculture such as hi-tech cultivation and precision farming to increase the yield on the leased land. On their part, farmers will retain the ownership of land through the agreement period and can also seek fixed rent for the land holding, the sources added.

The new business model, termed ‘management contract’, was first mooted at Global Agribusiness and Food Processing Summit last year.

Agro industries, agro-processing industries and post-harvest operation will be brought under the definition of agriculture after the amendment. At present, the definition includes raising of crops, grass or garden produce, dairy farming, poultry farming, breeding of livestock, and grazing.