Farmers to get 50% subsidy for solar drier

A view of the solar tunnel drier.

The Horticulture Department has taken efforts to promote horticulture activity through effective implementation of various subsidy-based schemes, and also for promoting drip irrigation, Senior Assistant Director, Department of Horticulture Pradeep D’Souza told reporters here on Monday.

He said that the government recently announced subsidy for the solar tunnel drier used for drying farm produce, mainly produce like arecanut, coconut, nutmeg, pepper, and cashew in a scientific manner.

The solar tunnel drier is a fabricated dome-shaped structure covered with a thermo sheet that absorbs heat from the sun. The heat generated within the chamber is enough to dry the produce kept on aluminium trays.

The drying of produce using the drier does not affect the quality of the farm produce while drying. It is fitted with a turbo fan to control the heat. It will protect the produce from rain, moisture and dust, he said.

D’Souza added:"The unit cost of setting up a drier with a capacity of 100 kg is Rs 55,000 and the government provides a subsidy of Rs 27,500. The unit cost of a unit for 1000-kg capacity is Rs 5,70,000 and a subisdy of Rs 2,85,000 is provided by the government."

The equipment was tested and approved by the UAS, Dharwad, in cooperation with the Department of Agricultural Processing and Food Engineering at the College of Agricultural Engineering, Raichur.

He said that for the judicious use of water for farming, the department has announced 90% subsidy under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana for the installation of drip irrigation and sprinklers in the farm land except for tea, coffee and rubber.

The farmers should submit a copy of Pahani, Aadhaar, land map and bank passbook while applying for subsidy for the drip irrigation and sprinklers. There is no paucity of funds for subsidy for drip irrigation, he clarified.

"The department also provides 50% subsidy for the construction of pack houses for post harvest facilities including grading and packing the arecanut, coconut, pepper, cocoa, vegetables and fruits. The unit cost of pack house is Rs 4 lakh and a subsidy of Rs 2 lakh is given by the department. To construct a pack house, a farmer should own minimum of five acre land," he said.

The pack house should be 9 metre long, 6 metre wide and three metre high building and the roof can be built either using asbestos sheet or the tiles. A water tank should also be constructed, he explained.

He also appealed to the farmers to register with the department for planting cashew, coconut, pepper, jasmine, cocoa and banana plants during 2019-20 to avail the financial assistance under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

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Farmers to get 50% subsidy for solar drier

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