HDK lays thrust on Israeli model of farming

To find long-term solutions to problems plaguing the agriculture sector, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in his maiden budget, has given a big push to the Israeli methods of farming and irrigation practices.

The Israeli agriculture model is in fact one of Kumaraswamy’s pet schemes, ever since his visit to the country last year. Kumaraswamy had taken time off electioneering to travel to Israel to study its farm practices. He had later announced that he would adopt the Israeli model if his party came to power after the Assembly elections.

Kumaraswamy, who had claimed to have brought back smart solutions such as drip and micro-irrigation adopted by Israel to benefit farmers of drought-prone regions, has now set aside
Rs 150 crore for providing Israeli model irrigation facilities for 5,000 hectares each in dry lands of Kolar, Chitradurga, Koppal and Gadag districts.

He has also allocated an additional Rs 150 crore to irrigate 5,000 hectare each in Karwar, Tumakuru, Yadgir and Haveri districts, for growing horticulture crops. “I have no doubt that Israeli model of irrigation system will protect the crops of farmers and make their life better,” he claimed in his budget speech.

The chief minister has proposed to introduce zero-budget natural farming (being implemented in Andhra Pradesh) in agriculture and horticulture and has allocated Rs 50 crore for this programme.

He has also mooted a government-farmer partnership to find solutions to the problems plaguing the cultivators through the setting up of Karnataka State Farmers Advisory Committee
(KSFAC). The KSFAC will comprise two progressive farmers from each district. Kumaraswamy plans to hold discussions with these farmer representatives once in two months.

Also, a high-level Agriculture Coordination Committee will be constituted under the chief minister’s chairmanship, which will meet once in three months and evaluate the impact of all programmes.

Farming will be categorised under 10 agro-climatic zones to make it a profitable enterprise, while a state Farmer Producing Organisations (FPOs) policy will be implemented to strengthen farmers’ organisation and capacity building.

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HDK lays thrust on Israeli model of farming

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