The State government, keen on introducing Israel-model high-technology farming in Karnataka, is approaching experts from that country to camp in the State in about two months.
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy told The Hindu that his plan was to invite about five to 10 specialists to each of the 30 districts to hand-hold local farmers.
“They will be from different specialisations within agriculture and allied sectors, chosen to fulfil local requirements,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said. “Our government has announced farm loan waiver. But this alone is not a long-term solution to revive farm economy. We need to take up schemes in the next few years at a cost of ₹30,000 to ₹40,000 crore to create a proper marketing system that can ensure remunerative prices for agricultural produce, promote exports, set up adequate storage facilities, reduce input costs, increase profits, and also reduce water consumption through efficient means for economically empowering farmers,” he observed.
The government is particularly looking at bringing in efficiency in water conservation through Israeli technology, he said.
The government is in the process of setting the stage for launching Israeli farm technology. “I recently held a meeting with the departments of agriculture and horticulture and gave a green signal for filling up some of the vacant posts so that they would be in a better position to take forward the proposed technologies,” he said. The government is also focussing on Zero Budget Natural Farming that would help in reducing input costs, besides going a long way in increasing soil fertility, he said. The Ministers for agriculture and horticulture are already touring Israel to study their technologies, he said.
He would also hold consultations with farmers once a month in a hobli to know their problems and also create awareness among them about farm development programmes, Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
Inspired by The Hindu
It was an article in this newspaper that inspired the Chief Minister to take up the initiative of introducing Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in Karnataka.
“I saw an article in The Hindu that referred to the success story of Andhra Pradesh on ZBNF and decided to implement it in our State too for protecting soil fertility and reduce input costs,” he said.