Youths turning away from farming, regrets CM

Visitors look at sunflowers at the Krishi Mela, which was inaugurated at GKVK in Bengaluru on Thursday. dh photos/Janardhan B K

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Thursday that there needs to be a scientific price for crops as most of the youth had decided that agriculture was not profitable business and had migrated to the cities.

"We see only aged people doing agriculture," he said.

Speaking after inaugurating Krishi Mela-2019 organised by University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore (UAS-B), at the Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) campus, he said, only 35% of the land is under irrigation in the state and more people are dependent on dry land agriculture.

Recent variations in nature have become a threat to farmers and agriculture industry. Farmers are suffering due to floods and drought, Yediyurappa said.

The chief minister said agriculture was the first occupation that humans adopted. For all business, agriculture is the foundation. All farmers in the state should take benefits from Krishi Mela and adopt methods to improve their financial conditions.

Yeddyurappa said the state had identified 7,62,420 cases of crop insurance and gave Rs 1,346.8 crore as compensation. “I have sanctioned Rs 5 lakh to people who lost their houses, monthly Rs 10,000 to help them build a temporary shelter, a monthly rent of Rs 5,000 and Rs 1 lakh to renovate their houses if they are damaged due to rain. Officials are distributing theses amount," he said.

He urged the farmers to concentrate more on organic farming and said it is shocking that 40% foodgrains worth Rs 50,000 crore is being wasted in the country and there needs to be more research to help stop this.

He said, “I have written to the prime minister to drop the plan of importing milk, as our farmers, who are dependent on the animal husbandry, are likely to be affected.

Yediyurappa said that the state government was giving Rs 4,000 to farmers in two instalments a year apart from the central government’s Rs 6,000 in three instalments. 

This was being done for the first time in the country and the government had already given Rs 489 crore as first instalment to 25 lakh farmers, the chief minister said.

Deputy chief minister and agriculture minister Laxman Savadi said that a lot of people, including those in the villages, were suffering from various diseases and it's only because of what they eat.

Farmers, apart from thinking about profit by using too much of pesticides and fertilisers, should concentrate more on organic farming.

"The state is working to double farmers' income by innovations in agriculture and methods to use less water and grow more crops."

Krishna Byre Gowda, MLA from Byatarayanapura and former agriculture minister, urged Yeddyurappa to pressure the central government to drop the plan of importing milk from foreign countries.

Rajendra Kumar Kataria, secretary, Horticulture and Sericulture departments, UAS-B vice-chancellor S Rajendra Prasad and other officials were present at the inauguration.

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