BANGALORE: Karnataka government today announced that rate of interest on short term crop loan of up to Rs 1 lakh would be reduced to zero from 2012-13 even as it provided Rs 19,660 crore for agriculture and related allied activities.
Presenting the separate Agriculture Budget 2012-13 in the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda noted that the rate of interest on short-term loan up to Rs 3 lakh raised through cooperative institutions was reduced to one per cent during 2011-12.
"From 2012-13, the rate of interest will be reduced to zero per cent for short term crop loan up to Rs 1 lakh", Gowda, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said.
Noting that 75 per cent of state farmers are small and marginal, and it is difficult for them to conduct timely agricultural operations because of high cost of farm equipment and scarcity of agricultural labour, he said the Agriculture Department proposes to establish hire-service centres for the farmers to hire tractor and other high-tech implements on rental basis.
Gowda also said that with help of Israeli technology, it has been proposed to establish high technology expert centres for vegetable crop development in Belgaum, pomegranate in Bagalkot and mango development in Kolar districts.
He also announced that a tur technology park in Gulbarga district, maize technology park in Ranebennur, coconut technology park including coconut products research and development unit in Tumkur district's Tiptur taluka would be established.
"This Agriculture Budget contains thinking on new dimensions for integrated development of farmers and other families engaged in agriculture and allied activities in our state", the Chief Minister added.