In order to increase agricultural productivity and enhance farmers’ livelihood, Government of Karnataka and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) along with consortium partners, launched a new scheme, Suvarna Krishi Grama Yojane: Transforming agriculture and livelihoods in rural Karnataka (Golden Agriculture Village Scheme) in Hirebidnur town of the State.
In the first phase, 105 villages will be developed as model villages and targeted farmers’ incomes will be increased through augmented productivity, diversification and market linkages. Later, 1000 more villages will be covered under the scheme.
By actively involving the community in the scheme from the start, the main objective is to transform rural areas by developing an impact oriented participatory model using state-of-the-art technologies. This model can be scaled up for more integrated and sustainable rural development in the state.
A comprehensive approach will also be taken by promoting Inclusive Market Oriented Development (IMOD) that links farmers with the markets and builds stable partnerships.
“Our government is keen to ensure large benefits to farmers in the State by bringing science-led development to the farmer’s doorstep with technical support from premier international institutions like ICRISAT and our State universities through schemes like Bhoochetana and Bhoo Samruddhi. We are now strengthening our collaboration with ICRISAT and other international institutions, state universities and departments of Karnataka government to enhance the impact of the new scheme Suvarna Krishi Grama Yojane,” said Karnataka’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Krishna Byre Gowda during inaugurating the scheme.
Addressing the delegates, Karnataka officials and farmers, ICRISAT Director General Dr David Bergvinson said, “To increase productivity, production and profitability, we have been working together with the Government of Karnataka through several successful initiatives. This new collaboration will take our partnership to a new high and we are optimistic of further transforming the agricultural sector and livelihoods of farmers.”
One of the most important strategies to be adopted for achieving the vision of this new scheme is to undertake science-led and demand driven development of rural areas by adopting the principal of convergence, collective action and capacity building through a consortium approach, where all partners and stakeholders work together.
Minister for Transport and District in-charge Minister for Chikkaballapur Ramalinga Reddy said, “We are happy that this district has been included in the first phase of Suvarna Krishi Grama Yojane and ICRISAT will be helping the district to transform agriculture in the district through these five villages.”
“We request ICRISAT to bring new technologies and demonstrate to our farmers along with the other institutions and universities to benefit the farmers. The most important thing is we need to change our mindset so that new technologies are adopted and farmers get the benefit through this scheme,” said Deputy Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly and MLA, Gauribidanur town NH Shivashankara Reddy.
The Government of Karnataka decided to implement the Suvarna Krishi Grama Yojane as indicated in the 2015-16 budget speech of State’s Chief Minister in pilot districts and will be scaled-up in a phased manner.
The new initiative is expected to provide better livelihoods to thousands living in rural Karnataka through skill development, higher productivity, profitability and increased happiness due to better infrastructure and facilities in their areas.