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Govt Offers 500 Crore Fuel Subsidy to Farmers to Promote Farm Mechanization

Karnataka plans to subsidise fuel costs for farmers through a new initiative called "Raitha Shakti" with a budget of Rs 500 crore to stimulate farm mechanisation and increase output.

Chintu Das
Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka CM
Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka CM

Karnataka plans to subsidize fuel costs for farmers through a new initiative called "Raitha Shakti" with a budget of Rs 500 crore to stimulate farm mechanization and increase output. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said in his presentation of the 2022-23 Budget that "to encourage the use of farm machinery and to reduce fuel expenditure burden, for the first time in the State, diesel subsidy of Rs 250 per acre, subject to a maximum of 5 acres, will be given through DBT under a new scheme "Raitha Shakti," for which Rs.500 crore will be provided."

The state also intends to expand the Krishi Yantradhare Centres to all hoblis in order to make farm machinery available to small and marginal farmers.

Bommai also suggested a number of strategies to improve post-harvest infrastructure and stimulate farm produce value addition. "Common centres for Farmer Producer Organizations would be built via Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation (KAPPEC) to take up post-harvest management marketing and export agricultural produce by developing a programme at a cost of Rs 50 crore," he added.

The state has established a Secondary Agriculture Directorate, which will enable value addition to primary agricultural products and expand marketing prospects through FPOs.

PPP Model

At a cost of Rs 35 crore, a cold modern storage facility would be built on a PPP model at Toravi village in Vijayapura district, which has the biggest area under grape growing in the state. According to Bommai, the cold storage will be established through the Karnataka Grape and Wine Board to scientifically manage grape storage, conservation, and transportation using cold storage transportation vehicles.

Under the National Mission on Edible Oil, the state would also award a grant of Rs 35 crore to boost oil palm agriculture by 25,000 hectares over the next five years. Furthermore, to encourage farmers to adopt natural farming, the research of nitrogen fixation and bio-analytical procedures in natural farming will be carried out in 1,000-acre plots at agricultural and horticultural colleges, and will be expanded to farmers' lands, according to Bommai.

Karnataka ranks third in the country in terms of organic farm food output, having converted 2 lakh hectares of farmland to organic farming. Bommai further stated that with the help of the Central Government, the Pradhana Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojane –Watershed Development component-2.0 will be implemented on 2.75 lakh hectares of rain-fed land spanning 57 taluks of the State at a cost of Rs 642 crore.

Karnataka also seeks to trademark the tur dal cultivated in the districts of Kalburgi and Yadagiri, which has a particular geographical indicator, as "Bhima Pulse."

It is also planned to establish a 'Ksheera Samruddhi Sahakara Bank' to help milk farmers obtain loans without trouble. The State government will contribute Rs 100 crore in share capital, while the Milk Producers Co-operative Society, Karnataka Milk Federation, and District Milk Unions would contribute a total of Rs 260 crore.

Karnataka, which produces the most silk in the country, has also announced a Rs 10,000 per tonne incentive for silk farmers who produce Bivoltine cocoon and sell it in the Government Silk Cocoon Market. With the help of Nabard, a high-tech government cocoon market would be built in Kalaburgi and Haveri districts at a cost of 30 crore to give contemporary marketing facilities to the state's silk farmers.

The incentive offered to Bivoltine cocoon will be enhanced by Rs 50 per kg, according to Bommai, in order to improve the revenue of silk growers and silk output. Raw silk produced by silk reelers would also be granted a bonus, he added.

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