Govt plans to launch new project to promote community farming

Bhoochetana Plus to be taken up on a pilot basis in four districts

The State Agriculture department has embarked upon an ambitious project of encouraging community farming in the State.

Trying to integrate the small and marginal farmers, who hold on an average 1.54 hectare (ha) of land, the Agriculture department has identified 40,000 ha in four districts of the State to try a pilot project in community farming and increase the productivity.

Named Bhoochetana Plus, the pilot project will be launched in Raichur, Bijapur, Chikmagalur and Tumkur districts, wherein the farming community will be given all the subsidies available with the Agriculture department, the Animal Husbandry department, the Horticulture department, the Fisheries department and the Watershed Department to encourage farmers in increasing their yield.

The basic premise of the scheme is to provide better quality seeds, fishling, micronutrients, construction of ponds, fodder and other additional requirements for farmers who are dependent on traditional farming.

Sources in the Agriculture department said the decision to start the pilot project was made after a series of deliberations between the Centre, State and nine different research institutes from across the world who have provided assistance for increasing the quality of life of the farmers in Karnataka.

As per the action plan, 10,000 ha of irrigated land have been identified in each of the four districts.

In these four districts, the individual departments will now be identifying a set of farmers who have a history in the specific vocations of cattle rearing or farming.
Once identified, these farmers will be given additional inputs by way of high-quality amenities, including those required in the production of crops, cattle-rearing and fish-breeding.

“Once these initial provisions are made, the departments will provide technical support to farmers over the next four years,” said Agriculture Commisioner Dr V Chandrashekar.

Officials in the department said the Bhoochetana Plus scheme will ensure the formation of co-operative societies of farmers in the four districts. Bulk buying of ingredients like urea, fodder and other essentials from the open market will also be routed through the co-operative society.

Subsidies from each of these departments will be provided to these societies and passed on to individual farmers for increasing farm production. It is said the department is also looking at integrating the marketing aspect under the scheme for better pricing of crops and other yields. The scheme is scheduled to be implemented later this financial year.

Highlights

* Community farming through Bhoochetana Plus is being encouraged in Raichur, Bijapur, Chikmagalur and Tumkur on a pilot basis

* 10,000 ha of irrigated land identified for the scheme

* Farmers who have land holdings in this 10,000 ha will be integrated into a registered co-operative society

* All subsidies from Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and allied departments to be routed through the society

* Marketing of the produce also to be encouraged through the society

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