Make use of Krishi Bhagya scheme, minister tells farmers

Scheme extended to coast; Belthangady farmers maiden beneficiaries

 Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Friday appealed to farmers in the region to make use of Krishi Bhagya, the state government’s ambitious scheme, which has now been extended to coastal belt.

At the launch of the scheme meant to encourage farmers to adopt ‘Krishi Honda’ (agriculture pond) and mechanised farming method with a thrust on transplantation of paddy saplings with the help of rotavator at Nada village in Belthangady taluk, the minister elaborated on advantages of the scheme.

Quoting a survey undretaken by the state government for a comparative study on the yield at those farms equipped with ponds and those without this facility, the minister said, “Those having ponds have succeeded in reaping the benefit of more yield in the range of 30% to 120% against traditional farming methods where the farmers are largely dependent on rain or borewells.”

The rainwater will be collected in the ponds and it can be used for farming even after rainy season, he stressed.

Mechanised farming

Similarly, mechanised farming is another advantage for the farmers, where they will be saving not less than Rs 14,000 per acre of land when compared to the expenditure incurred in traditional farming method. The rotovator can be used for both sowing and harevsting of paddy. It will surely come handy with farmers forced to depend on farm labourers to a larger extent, he added.

The minister said that plans are on the anvil to adopt mechanised method to spray pesticides in the coming days, under the scheme.

The scheme, earlier launched in arid areas, was later extended to coastal areas following a request in this regard from farmer leaders from the region. The government has spent Rs 1,414 crore extending the benefit to 1.6 lakh farmers in the State till date, he added.

Maiden beneficiaries

Cheluvamma, wife of Lakshmegowda, Nada village, became the first woman to
avail of the benefit, with agriculture pond built in the land attached to her house. The pond measuring 10 metre x10 metre is three metre deep, with a capacity to store 220 cubic metres (CMT) of water. It is sufficient for an acre of land against her 3.4 acres of land.

While the government provides 80% subsidy towards total expenditure of Rs 23,957 on building the pond, she has to bear the remaining expenditure of 20%.

Similarly, farmer Ajith Kumar Ariga reaped the benefit of mechanised paddy sowing. The minister himself demonstrated the method of mechanised farming, at the land.
Shivakumar Magada, director of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dakshina Kannada, said that the pond can be used for breeding fishes, thus ensuring double income for the farmers.

MLA Vasanth Bangera, also the chairman of Karnataka Small Industries Development Corporation, Zilla Panchayat president Meenakshi Shanthigodu, vice-president Kasturi Panja, Director of Agriculture B Y Srinivas and other officials were present.

271 applications received

No sooner the state government announced the extension of Krishi Bhagya scheme to coastal belt, 271 farmers have applied to avail of the benefit of agriculture ponds in the district. Joint director of agriculture department H Kempegowda said while the work on building 20 ponds has started, the works on remaining ponds will be taken up in the later stage.

Assistant director of agriculture department Tilak Prasad told media persons that 45 applications have been received in Belthangady taluk alone. Tthe department has a set target of 150 ponds in the taluk alone- 50 each at Belthangady, Venur and Kokkada hoblis in the taluk. The farmers with minimum of one acre of land can avail the benefit, while the ponds can be built from the minimum of 10 metre to maximum 21 metre depending on the extent of land, he added.

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