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Slew of agri, dairy schemes in Karnataka Budget, crop loans at 1%

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The Karnataka government has allocated Rs 17,857 crore for the development of agriculture, allied and irrigation sectors in its Budget 2011-12.  

The government has decided to take bold steps to solve the problems faced by agriculture, allied and irrigation sectors in the state. “In this direction, I propose to accord more importance to formulating appropriate schemes for the increasing numbers of the marginal and small farmers, addressing the lack of appropriate technology, providing essential and modern processing facilities, construction of godowns and cold-storages and organising partnerships with institutions having expertise and mobilising adequate capital for implementing these strategies along with formulating supporting policies,” stated chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who presented the Budget in the State Assembly.. 

Several important steps to rejuvenate agriculture and its allied sectors are taken. An allocation of Rs 1,000 crore will be provided for development of 10 lakh farmer families under Suvarna Bhoomi Yojana. Crop loan will be made available at 1% interest to the farmers through co-operative credit institutions.

The government has also made an allocation of Rs 200 crore for organic farming, Rs125 crore is  provided for promotion of bio-fuels, Rs 100 crore will be provided for giving subsidy for drip irrigation and sprinkler, besides another  Rs 100  crore will be provided for giving subsidy for purchase of agricultural equipment.

A provision of Rs 40 crore has been provided for one modern mobile unit to each taluk for extension work in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry.

The state is making efforts to formulate the Karnataka Agri Business Development Policy. For this it has made efforts to establish Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 500 crore and increase the Agriculture Revolving Fund to Rs 1000 crore.

The government has provided Rs 3,900 crore for supplying quality power to irrigation pump-sets. For rejuvenation of tanks and for filling up of water in the dried tanks, an amount of Rs 1,000 crore will be provided. The government has allocated another Rs 100 crore for regularisation of one lakh unauthorised pump-sets. The state has also declared 2011-20 as “Irrigation decade,” and will mobilise Rs 50,000 crore for water resources development. 

There are several incentives offered to the rural cottage industries. These include a subsidy to   50,000 youths for starting bee-keeping industry.

Priority to transparency and computerisation of agricultural markets was announced. Further, a provision of Rs 5 crore for  construction of 50 fish markets, Rs 100 crore is set aside for the construction of small harbours and Rs 100 crore for construction of warehouses.

The Government has established 4 Bio-centres for developing high yield variety seeds.

Further, to promote horticulture, a separate university with 9 horticulture colleges and one post-graduate centre has been established. A Mango Board and Wine Board have been established for giving special attention to these valuable horticultural produce. 

There has been considerable improvement in the field of animal husbandry on account of various steps taken by the government in the last 33 months. There has been increased dairying activities going by the increased milk production in the state to 48 lakh tonnes from 41.24 lakh tonnes during 2006-07. For the establishment of a Mega Dairy with milk processing and cold-storage units at Chikballapura, an amount of ` Rs 10 crore is provided. In addition, an amount of Rs 10 crore is provided for establishing cold-storage units at Gulbarga and Belgaum.

To overcome the shortage of veterinary doctors, veterinary colleges have been established in Shimoga and Hassan districts. Administrative approval has been given for establishing veterinary colleges in Gadag district and in Athani.

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