Organic farmers’ federation on the lines of KMF by January

  • 17/11/2018

Organic farmers’ federation on the lines of KMF by January

The federation will help in better marketing, says Minister

A State-level federation of organic farmers’ associations will be set up by January on the lines of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) to procure and market organic produce from across the State under a unified brand name. Similar to the KMF, plans are afoot to market organic produce, now in high demand in Bengaluru, under a common logo.

“As part of plans to strengthen the regional federations, we intend to set up a State-level federation in the next couple of months. This body will be modelled on the lines of the KMF and produce will be marketed under Siri brand. Logo of the regional federation could also feature on the packaging along with the village from where the produce has been procured,” Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy told reporters here on Friday.

There are 15 regional federations of organic farmers’ associations having a membership of around 60,000 farmers. Each of the regional federation has about 30 to 40 sanghas. In Karnataka, about 73,000 hectares of land is organic-certified area.

Having a logo and branding, Mr. Reddy said, was expected to increase the visibility of the products, and added that retail organic produce sales centres were also expected to come on the lines of the KMF milk booths.

In a bid to increase market for millets in the State, the Agriculture Department has proposed to the government to introduce one day in a week as millets day in the hostels run by the Social Welfare Department and the Backward Classes Department, midday meals in schools, and also in Indira Canteen.

“This will not only help farmers find market, but also provide healthy food to consumers,” Mr. Reddy said.

Meanwhile, a three-day Organics and Millets International Trade Fair, scheduled from January 18, is expected to see bigger participation, with more than 400 stalls, and separate sections for agri-processing and farm machinery. An international pavilion is proposed this year and efforts are on to reach a wider international community.

Govt. mulling over having its own crop insurance scheme

In the light of problems farmers are facing with the current insurance scheme, the State government is mulling over having its own crop insurance scheme for farmers in the State on the lines of Bihar, the Agriculture Ministersaid.

“We are considering our own crop insurance scheme as current parameters for receiving insurance are rigid and claim settlement is getting delayed. There is mismatch in entries. We can fix our own criteria if we have a separate insurance scheme,” the Minister told presspersons here. “Some of the claims of 2016–17 are still pending in the State,” he said, and added that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana parameters to determine crop loss were complicated.

As many as 25 crops in the State are covered by insurance. According to him, the number of registration for crop insurance came down to 13 lakh in 2018 kharif as against 17 lakh during 2017 kharif. “The government is apprehensive that the current policy is not farmer friendly,” Mr. Reddy said.

State stares at rabi losses

Karnataka, which has reported a loss of around ₹16,000 crore in the agriculture sector in the kharif season owing to deficient rainfall, is staring at a loss in the ongoing rabi season too.

While the targeted area of sowing for rabi is 31 lakh hectares, sowing has been completed in just about 12.8 lakh hectares so far. “Rabi has not been good as expected. By now 60 to 70% (of the targeted area) sowing should have been completed. Some recovery can be expected only if the rain is good.” Incidentally, three Central teams are in Karnataka to assess kharif crop damage after Karnataka appealed for ₹2,460 crore financial assistance for drought relief. While 100 taluks in 13 districts have been declared drought-hit, eight to 10 more taluks are to be added to the list.

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