Cong govt to review BJP's farming policies

The Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byregowda said on Tuesday that the Congress government will review the ‘Organic Farming Mission’ programme launched by the BJP regime, and would order an inquiry to ascertain whether there had been any misuse of funds in implementing the scheme during the last five years.

Addressing a press conference in the City, Byregowda said that the Congress had previously raised objections over the massive sum of grants allotted to implement the programme.

“While the concept of organic farming is very relevant, the previous regime allotted grants amounting to Rs 100 crore to Rs 300 crore per annum for the programme,” he said. “We need to ascertain whether the grants had been properly used or not.”

He added that he will consult the chief minister and the Horticulture minister before taking a decision about the programme.

The Congress’ opposition to the ‘Organic Farming Mission’, was based on the claim that the programme served only to line the pockets of BJP workers involved in the project.

Speaking about other schemes launched by the BJP such as ‘Suvarna Bhoomi,’ Byregowda said that the government’s new policy revolves around making farmers self-reliant. “Our main objective is to make farmers independent and not dependent on the government,” he said and indicated that some programmes would be “reoriented” or “streamlined.”

The government will take measures to ensure that there is sufficient stock of quality seeds and fertilisers ahead of the sowing season. “While the requirement of seeds in the State was 10.68 lakh kgs, the present stock amounts to 11 lakh kgs – which leaves us with a slight surplus,” he said. Special squads will be constituted to ensure there is no hoarding of fertilisers and the creation of an artificial scarcity.

He added industries need to be developed in rural areas so as to ensure that youths in villages have an adequate means of employment. “However, only non-arable land will be acquired for industrial purposes,” he pointed out.

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