‘Agri-budget' cuts interest on farm loans

Our Bureau Bangalore | Updated on February 24, 2011

Priority to backward taluks: Farmers at a function where the Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, distributed copy of the State Budget on agriculture at Freedom Park. — Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy

The Karnataka Government, through its maiden ‘agri-budget', has taken several bold steps to solve some of the problems faced by the agriculture sector by making credit available at lower rates, doling out subsidies for buying farm equipment and setting up a new agri-infrastructure fund to bring in capital through private participation.

The Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, while presenting the Budget, announced that the interest rate on agriculture crop loans has been reduced to 1 per cent from 3 per cent earlier. A new scheme – Suvarna Bhoomi Yojana – has also been introduced through which Rs 1,000 crore will be provided for development of 10 lakh farmer families.

Explaining the scheme, the Chief Minister said, “Under this scheme, every farmer family with land holding up to 2 acres will be given financial assistance amounting to Rs 10,000 in two instalments directly through banks or co-operative societies. In case of land holding less than 2 acres, the incentives will be given proportionately.”

Sectoral break-up

The sectoral break-up of the 10 lakh beneficiaries is as follows: Horticulture 2.5 lakh, sericulture 50,000, bio-fuels one lakh, organic farming 2 lakh, oil seeds of high yielding varieties , pulses and Bt cotton 3 lakh, apiculture 50,000 fish farming in water logged and saline lands 50,000.

“I hope, through this scheme, the standard of living of farmers on about 15 lakh acres of land will improve,” Mr Yeddyurappa said.

Farm mechanisation

A provision of Rs 100 crore has been allocated for farm mechanisation and priority will be given to backward taluks in distribution of agricultural equipment.

The Chief Minister said there is a need for more mechanised farm equipment so that farmers can undertake timely agricultural activities and reduce labour involved in farming activities. According to the requirements of the farmers, equipment such as tractor tiller, paddy harvesting machine, sugarcane harvesting machine will be made available with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent and not exceeding Rs 50,000.

An amount of Rs 100 crore is being provided as subsidy for drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation, a similar amount for purchase of agricultural equipment. Provision of Rs 40 crore is also being made for one modern mobile unit to each taluk for extension work in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry.

Published on February 24, 2011

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