DK ZP plans 'agri vision 2020'

DK ZP plans 'agri vision 2020'

It aims at steps to improve paddy cultivation and to make agriculture a profitable venture .

In a bid to promote farming sector, Dakshina Kannada zilla panchayat is preparing an ‘Agri vision 2020.’

The draft of Agri Vision is ready and will be finalised after holding another round of meeting with the experts from agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, watershed and fisheries sector.

Though paddy cultivation was a major agriculture activity, source of livelihood and a part of the culture of many people in the district, it is slowly declining and the area under paddy cultivation is on decline over the years.

Modern trend of industrialisation, land conversion and real estate boom are other reasons that make farmers change their mindset and sell their precious farm land in the district.

As a result, the total area of paddy fields in the district is decreasing gradually year by year. Believe it or not, a total of 11,272 hectares of paddy fields (both rabi and kharif) have disappeared since 1999-2000.

The area under paddy cultivation was 66,438 hectare in 1999-2000. However, it has decreased to 55,166 in 2011-12.

Realising the gravity of the problem, the Zilla Panchayat has decided to bring together experts in the field including progressive farmers and chalk out a draft plan to promote farming among the people.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Zilla Panchayat CEO Dr K N Vijayaprakash said “the Agri Vision 2020 aims at reviving agriculture in the district. The report will be submitted to the State government shortly, to urge the government to come out with various schemes to promote farming.”

He said it is nothing but convergence of agriculture. It aims at how to improve paddy cultivation in the district and to make agriculture a profitable venture.

He says the draft has decided to urge the State government to implement Kerala model of financial assistance to support paddy cultivation in the district. In Kerala, financial assistance is given for the farmers and also prices are fixed scientifically.

The Agri Vision will also urge the State government to change the guidelines pertaining to the payment of compensation for the crop loss due to natural calamities. It has been decided to urge the government to provide compensation of Rs 10,000 (maximum) per hectare if the loss is below 50 per cent.

It has also been decided to seek subsidy for those women and people hailing from backward classes, who are engaged in farming.

“The experts have decided to urge the authorities to include ‘agriculture’ as a subject in school syllabus. In fact, under Sarva Shikshana Abhiyana, school children are taken to paddy fields, in Dakshina Kannada, to give them hands on experience on how rice is produced.”

The CEO said Swamy Anand, a farmer from Mysore district, has triggered a revolution in Karnataka, by setting up ‘Hasiru’ outlet to eliminate middlemen. The farmers bring their produce directly to the outlet to sell.

This farmer-to-consumer movement is just garnering attention and similar outlet needs to be started in Dakshina Kannada to help the farmers,” he added.