Mere technology won’t help farming sector: DKS

Mere technology won’t help farming sector: DKS

D K Shivakumar

Mere setting up of industries and bringing latest technology from places like Israel will not help farmers, who have several needs but lack awareness, Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar said on Wednesday.

Speaking to a room-full of industrialists and entrepreneurs at a two-day conference on ‘Futuristic Farmer-led Irrigation’, Shivakumar said they should also focus on the basics.

“No farmer is committing suicide in drought-prone regions like Kolar and Chikkaballapur. They (farmers) are growing good quality products. In well-irrigated districts like Mandya, Bagalkot and Belagavi farmers do not know the value of water and have lots of problems,” he said, calling upon the experts to come up with comprehensive solutions that include awareness and guidance for the farm community.

Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy said there was a need to phase out flood irrigation and encourage farmers to take up drip irrigation to check over-exploitation of water.

“In command areas, including the Ramthal project area, farmers have not embraced drip irrigation. Flood irrigation has led to soil salinity. There is an urgent need to adopt Israel model of agriculture,” he said.

Srinivasa Lingireddy, an industry expert from the United States, said some of the latest technology which have helped perfect the drip irrigation technology were already available in India. “The technology should be adopted in the field of agriculture. For this, a change in mindset is required,” he said.