Expressing serious concern over irrigated land turning saline in many parts of north Karnataka, particularly in Bagalkot and Bijapur districts, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday announced 90 per cent subsidy for drip irrigation.
Speaking after inaugurating the ‘Krishi Mela-2013’ organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) here, he noted that excessive use of water and chemical fertilisers by the farmers of this region to get good yield has spoiled the soil’s health.
“To rejuvenate these lands, the government will pay 90 per cent cost of drip irrigation systems. There will be no discrimination between small and big farmers”, he announced.
Fee Waiver scheme
The Chief Minister also announced that the state government would bear the educational fees of the farmers’ children in the drought-affected region. The fee waiver scheme will be applicable to all courses including medical, engineering or any other degree, he added.
Referring to the adverse effect of climate and scanty rain of the late, he called upon the universities to come up with proper plans to find a permanent solution to this problem by developing suitable seeds for places of heavy and scanty rains.
He asserted that the government would design a ‘Dryland Farming Policy’ based on the reports of the varsities.
“Universities are required to take up more research to find solution to the food crisis which is certain to hit the country in the days to come. The state government is committed to giving more stress on this and would bear the entire expenditure of innovative researches to enhance the yield in shrinking agriculture land,” Siddaramaiah asserted.
He regretted that in recent times extension activities have received a setback in most of the regions and there is an ardent need to implement ‘Lab to Land policy’.
The Chief Minister observed that only the work of distributing seeds and fertilisers is taking place and not the much required extension work in the real sense.
Referring to the supply of poor quality of seeds, he called upon the farmers to prepare their own seeds as in earlier days instead of depending on the seeds provided by private companies. “I also come from a farmer’s family and we used to prepare our own seeds”, he recalled.
Speaking in favour of setting up of an integrated agriculture university, he said that a team of experts would find out the pros and cons of this issue.