Bengaluru: The Agriculture Department has come up with a solution to the city’s garbage problem. The department has offered to convert the garbage collected in the city into compost and distribute it to farmers at Rs 800 per tonne.
Agriculture Minister C. Krishna Byregowda said on Wednesday that the compost will be distributed in Kolar, Chikkaballapura and Ramanagara districts on a pilot basis.
If it is proved a success, it will be extended to other districts. To get the compost, farmers have to register themselves with their respective Raitha Samparka Kendras and compost will be directly delivered to the farmers' land within a week or 15 days.
The cost of converting one tonne of garbage is around Rs 1,600, but will be distributed to farmers at 50% subsidy. This will also address the problems Bengaluru is facing and also fetch revenues to the civic body.
He said over one lakh agriculture ponds (krishi hondas) have been constructed under the 'Krishi Bhagya' scheme. As there was a lot of demand for this, another 30,000 ponds will be built before March this year.
The scheme will be continued next year and the plan is to construct 50,000 ponds. It has helped farmers tide over drought conditions. He said soil health cards will be distributed to all farmers by the yearend and the department will also recommend varieties of crops to be grown according to soil health. 16 lakh soil tests have been conducted and 13 lakh cards have been printed.
He said that the state’s food production is likely to be around 91 lakh tonnes as against the normal production of 130 lakh tonnes. It is because of failure of rains over the last four years. But there will be no food shortage, he said.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been asked to release the balance amount of relief to Karnataka and he has responded positively, he said.