Presenting the 'Agriculture Budget' for the next fiscal in the state legislative assembly, Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda told lawmakers that the state government would continue to facilitate farm credit above INR100,000 at four percent interest rate per annum from cooperative societies.
"Buffer stock of fertilizers will be doubled to 800,000 metric tonnes from 400,000 metric tonnes to ensure enough supplies to farmers across the state," Gowda said in his maiden budget speech, which lasted over two hours.
As part of various pro-farmer schemes, the farm budget envisages expansion of sprinkler and drip irrigation and development of water tanks for increasing foodgrain production with higher yields per acre.
"Schemes under the third stage of the Upper Krishna Project will be implemented at a cost of INR17,207 crore in the drought-prone northern districts of the state for the benefit of farmers and rural people," Gowda said.
With an overall outlay of INR19,660 crore for the agriculture and allied sectors, the agri-budget proposes to implement cluster-villages and area-based programmes to increase productivity in dryland farming by using new technology and mechanised implements and supplying nutrients in irrigated lands.
"Under the INR110 crore 'Bhuchethana' special scheme, 45 lakh farmers cultivating in five million hectares of area in all the 30 districts across the state will be funded to increase their crop yield in dryland by 20 percent and improve their living standard and financial status," Gowda said.
The state agriculture department has set a target of 13.7 million metric tonnes for foodgrains production and 1.5 million metric tonnes for oilseeds in the new fiscal.