Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said in his maiden presentation of the 2022-23 Budget, ‘For the first time in the State, diesel subsidy of ₹250 per acre subject to a maximum of 5 acres will be given through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under a new scheme ‘Raitha Shakti’ for which Rs.₹500 crore will be provided.’
The state also intends to expand the Krishi Yantradhare Centres to all hoblis in order to make farm machinery available to small and marginal farmers.
Bommai also outlined a number of initiatives to improve post-harvest infrastructure and encourage value addition for farm produce. ‘Common centers for Farmer Producer Organizations will be developed through Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation (KAPPEC) by formulating a scheme at a cost of ₹50 crore,’ he said.
With the assistance of FPOs, the State has established a Directorate of Secondary Agriculture, which will enable value addition to primary agricultural products and create more marketing opportunities.
Model of PPP
At a cost of ₹35 crore, a cold modern storage facility will be established on the PPP model in Toravi village in Vijayapura district, which has the most grape cultivation area in the state. According to Bommai, cold storage will be established through the Karnataka Grape and Wine Board to scientifically manage grape storage, conservation, and transportation via cold storage transportation vehicles.
Natural and Organic Farming
In addition, the state will provide a grant of ₹35 crore under the National Mission on Edible Oil to increase oil palm cultivation by 25,000 hectares over the next five years. Furthermore, in order to encourage farmers to practice natural farming, the study of nitrogen fixation and bio-analytical techniques in natural farming will be undertaken by Agricultural and Horticultural universities in areas of 1,000 acres each and will be extended to farmers’ lands, according to Bommai.
Karnataka ranks third in the country in organic farm produce production, having converted 2 lakh hectares of farmland to organic farming. Bommai also stated that action will be taken to implement the Pradhana Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojane – Watershed Development component-2.0 with Central Government assistance at a cost of ₹642 crore in 2.75 lakh hectares of the rain-fed area covering 57 taluks of the State.
Karnataka also proposes to brand the tur dal grown in the districts of Kalburgi and Yadagiri, which has a distinct geographical indication, as ‘Bhima Pulse.’
Silk and Milk
Furthermore, it is proposed to establish a ‘Bank’ to assist milk producers in obtaining hassle-free loans. The State government will contribute ₹100 crore in share capital, while the Milk Producers Co-operative Society, Karnataka Milk, and District Milk Unions will contribute a total of ₹260 crore.
In addition, Karnataka, which ranks first in silk production in the country, announced a ten thousand rupee per tonne incentive for silk farmers producing Bivoltine cocoon and selling it in the Government Silk Cocoon Market. A high-tech Government Cocoon Market will be built in Kalaburgi and Haveri districts at a cost of ₹30 crore with assistance from Nabard to provide modern marketing facilities to the State’s silk growers.
Bommai also stated that the incentive for Bivoltine cocoon will be increased by ₹50 per kg in order to increase the income of silk farmers and silk produce. He also stated that raw silk produced by silk reelers will be rewarded.