Budget has nothing to gladden farmers

In the last budget, the outlay for Agriculture and Horticulture was Rs 2,122 crore. This year it is Rs 2,356 crore, which, if adjusted against inflation is less than proposed last year.

The government has continued with the farm loan at interest of three per cent and free power supply to irrigation pumpsets up to 10 HP. Farm loan at subsidised rates will be available only for those farmers who repay loan in time. Those eligible can submit their loan details to the taluk officers of Cooperaton Department concerned by April 20, 2010.

Interest rate

The Centre in its budget reduced the interest rate on farm loans from seven to five per cent. However, this will not benefit farmers of the State as they are already getting loan at three percent interest. The sectoral outlay has gone up by only one per cent compared to the previous year. 

The government has focused on creating agriculture infrastructure under the Jalashri programme, such as construction of rainwater harvesting structures at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

However, the State will not take burden of the expenditure because the programme will be implemented under the Centre-sponsored MGNREGS. The government has plans to use the job guarantee scheme for increasing area under horticulture crops.

The budget proposals envisage the government offering financial assistance for farmers to set up super stores in district centres. However, it does not allocate funds for the purpose. Yeddyurappa has sanctioned a agriculture university for his home Shimoga.

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