Karavali package for paddy in coastal districts

Labourers engaged in transplanting paddy seedlings in a field at Gurupura Kukkudakatte on the outskirts of Mangaluru.

The Agriculture Department has invited applications from farmers for the incentive ‘Karavali Package’ for paddy growers in order to promote paddy cultivation in the coastal districts.

An amount of Rs 7,500 a hectare will be given to farmers of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada, to motivate them to cultivate paddy under the scheme.

A press release from Seetha, joint director of the Agriculture Department, said that paddy is grown in the coastal districts in the rainy season.

“It is difficult to maintain the fertility of the soil in the low-lying areas of the coastal districts. The production cost of paddy is high, owing to less land holdings and shortage of labourers. Owing to increase in production cost, the area under paddy cultivation has, therefore, declined over the years,” the press release has stated.

Reduction in area

The area under paddy cultivation in Dakshina Kannada has declined from 27,800 hectares in 2018-19 to 15,900 hectares in 2019-20. In Udupi, it has come down to 36,000 hectares.

“To avail of the ‘Karavali package’, a farmer should own pahani of rain-fed paddy cultivation. He or she should own the land, which has been attested by the Revenue Department. If the land is owned by two persons, one applicant can avail of the benefit. The farmers should have taken up direct swing or drum seeder sowing or mechanised transplantation of paddy to avail of the Karavali package. Further, priority will be given for cultivating indigenous variety of paddy – ‘kaempu akki’, ‘kari kagga’ and ‘bili kagga’,” the
Department has said.

To select the beneficiaries, a seniority list will be prepared. The farmers should be compulsorily registered with the software of the Department. For more details, farmers may contact ‘The Raitha Samparka Kendra, Taluk Assistant Agriculture Director / Joint Director’.

Kerala model

It may be recalled that the farmers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts had been demanding the Karavali package for paddy on the model of the Kerala package where incentives are offered to farmers to promote paddy cultivation.

In 2011, the joint director of agriculture in Dakshina Kannada had sent a proposal to the commissioner of agriculture on the Kerala model of package to Dakshina Kannada to check the shrinking of the area under paddy cultivation. In 2016 too, the joint director had submitted a proposal for the Karavali package.

As a result, Dr T N Prakash Kammaradi, Agriculture Price Commission chairman, had sent a team of officials from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shivamogga, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts, along with farmer representatives, to Kerala to study the model and submit a report.

The coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy had also announced an incentive of Rs 7,500 for paddy farmers in the budget in 2019.

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