Agri Business

‘Agri-budget, first step towards empowerment of farmers'

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on February 25, 2011

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has termed the Karnataka Government's allotment aggregating Rs 17,857 crore for the agricultural sector, including Rs 7,800 crore for irrigation facilities, in the Budget as a first step towardsempowerment of farmers.

Welcoming the proposals, the Chairman of the southern region of FIEO, Mr Walter D'Souza, said the budget proposals will be result-oriented, if they are directed towards increasing the net productivity at the farm level coupled with value addition at the agro industry level.

Value addition

For decades, State and Central governments have been providing sops to farmers. However, their economic status is yet to change, as a major share of the money has not gone to the beneficiaries.

“It is possible to alleviate poverty among farming community only with better productivity backed by better realisation through value addition. Agro industries engaged in exports of perishable agro products need infrastructure in place. At the moment, the infrastructure is far behind international standards,” he said.

Stating that agriculturists suffer a setback when they have a surplus production or deficit, he said the surplus production brings prices down with supply overshooting demand.

Govt support

“The balancing factor will be to have time-bound programmes to support agro-clusters with facilities such as mechanised farming assistance to be provided by Government through self-help groups,” he said.

Mr D'Souza said that the budgetary allocations on agriculture should aim at arresting the colossal waste due to a surplus crop size and have systems in place to support the farmer with constructive steps in enhancing the productivity at farm level.

FIEO suggestion

In the pre-budget consultative process, the FIEO had sought Rs 100 crore investment on back-up facilities for the air cargo complex at Mangalore. “We are happy to learn that this request is likely to be considered in the agri-business development policy to be unveiled in the near future,” he said.

Welcoming the allocation of Rs 15 crore to develop Mangalore airport, he said a major portion of it may be used to make the air cargo complex a reality.

Published on February 25, 2011

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