BENGALURU: Aiming at becoming the first State in the country to double farmers’ income by 2023-24, the Karnataka government will constitute a committee to improve various agricultural parameters to achieve the goal.Spelling out the State Government’s plans, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said, “The Centre is ready to join hands with us for doubling farmers’ income. We are constituting a committee comprising farmers that will be in constant touch with the Centre to prepare a Karnataka-specific report on farmers’ income, and we will implement it.”
After a meeting with Ashok Dalwai, CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) and Chairman, Empowered Body, Doubling Farmers Income (DFI), Union Ministry of Agriculture, Bommai said they discussed various measures required to be taken to double the farmers’ income. He said a committee headed by Agriculture Minister BC Patil will be constituted to coordinate with agriculture universities in the State to improve seed, pest and fertiliser management and soil nutrient levels.
The government has also decided to set up a “Secondary Agriculture Directorate” for processing all agro-products, including dairy, fishery, horticulture, sericulture and animal husbandry. Setting up agro-processing units will help increase farmers’ income and create employment in rural areas, the CM said.
Aspects of post-harvest technology, marketing in focus
According to the DFI Committee’s estimates, the average annual income of agricultural households in Karnataka was Rs 96,718 in 2011-12. It went up to Rs 1,54,399 in 2015-16. The target now is Rs 2,84,888 by 2022-23. Average income of agricultural households in Karnataka is more than the all-India average of Rs 70,118 in 2011-12, which increased to Rs 96,703 in 2015-16.
Sources in the Agriculture Department said that so far, the focus was only on production, but now it will be on all aspects of post-harvest technologies and marketing, including processing and branding.The strategy of the Empowered Body, Doubling Farmers’ Income, is to ensure doubling of income in real terms from 2016-17 to 2022-23 with 2015-16 as the base year. It focuses on improving crop productivity, livestock productivity, efficiency in resource utilisation, savings on production costs, increasing cropping intensity, diversifying towards high-value crops, and improving real prices received by farmers.