14 firms partner with govt for Drip-to-Market Agro Corridor

14 firms partner with govt for Drip-to-Market Agro Corridor

As many as 14 private companies have partnered with the state government to procure agricultural and horticultural produce directly from farmers in Ramthal, a village in north Karnataka where one of Asia's largest micro irrigation projects is underway.

Eight companies signed a memorandum of understanding with the departments of Water Resources, Agriculture and Horticulture here on Wednesday, whereas six had signed agreements in July this year. This is part of the Drip-to-Market Agro Corridor (DMAC), which seeks to provide drip-irrigated areas with market linkages involving the government and the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private-expert-civil society platform.

"The government is spending nearly Rs 800 crore in Ramthal to provide micro irrigation facility for 65 acres covering 15,000 farmers. Private companies will come in with their infrastructure such as processing units and warehouses to procure what farmers are growing," said Anjum Parwez, Managing Director, Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL), which is anchoring the project.

Going forward, the DMAC will be scaled up to cover farmers in Koppal, Singatalur, Poorigali and Savanur areas. "We're looking at irrigating 5 lakh hectares at a cost of Rs 28,000 crore," Parwez said.

The KBJNL is also working on a technology platform called Namma Drip, which will help link farmers and private sector companies. "The platform will contain farmers details such as land holding and crop, which will help companies identify the right farmer to partner. Also, farmers will be able to access details of companies supplying fertilizers," Parwez said. The platform will be ready in another six months, he added.

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