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Minister favours linking of rivers in coastal Karnataka

Our Bureau Moodbidri | Updated on December 20, 2013 Published on December 20, 2013

A Minister from coastal Karnataka has stressed on the need for interlinking of rivers in the region to provide better irrigation facility to farmers.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 34th ‘Krishi Mela’ of Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) at Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district on Friday, Fisheries Minister and MLA from Moodbidri Abhayachandra Jain said that most of the districts in Karnataka got water for irrigation from the Krishna or the Cauvery. But the coastal districts do not benefit from the two rivers.

Ministers from coastal Karnataka should urge the State government to earmark around Rs 400 crore for interlinking the rivers in coastal Karnataka for providing better irrigation facilities in the region, he said.

Jain suggested that the farmers follow the modern techniques of farming to improve the productivity of farm produce.

Vinay Kumar Sorake, Karnataka Urban Development Minister and in charge of Udupi district, said that though the Varahi irrigation project was mooted in 1983 to irrigate lands in Udupi region, it still remains half-built even after 30 years. The cost of the project has gone up from Rs 9 crore three decades ago to Rs 500 crore now.

The project was aimed at providing irrigation facilities to sugarcane crop in that region. Since the project did not come up, sugarcane crop is also not there.

He said that the project would be completed soon, and would irrigate around 8000 acres of the land after that.

K. Narayana Gowda, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, said that farmers should organise themselves to form production units. Such units would help them tackle the issues such as small land holdings and labour shortage among others.

D. Veerendra Heggade, chairman of SKDRDP, said that farming needed patience as the farmer had to wait for years to get yields from his crops. Some of the factors such as price fluctuation and labour shortage are also affecting farmers.

Four progressive farmers from different parts of the state were honoured on the occasion. The three-day ‘krishi mela’ is being conducted along with the Alva’s Vishwa Nudisiri Virasat (the cultural and literary festival) in Moodbidri.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 20, 2013
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