Bengaluru: With farm labourers now hard to come by, the state government is hoping to mechanise harvesting and other farming practices, according to Agriculture Minister, Krishna Byre Gowda.
Speaking to reporters here, he pointed out that although farmers were ready to pay high wages, labourers were not available.
“And those who do agree to work on farms don’t know the basics of agriculture. So there is now no option but to mechanise the sector,” he explained.
To begin with the government would open another 325 centres this year to provide farmers with agriculture equipment, which could include harvesters, he revealed.
“Completely mechanising farming could save the farmers between 25 per cent to 40 per cent in costs,” the minister noted.
Moving on, he said sowing in the state was the highest in five years this season owing to the good monsoon. While the state usually sowed 37.47 lakh hectares around this time of the year, it had already covered 49.39 lakh hectares so far and the purchase of fertilisers and seeds too had risen as a result.
“We are expecting a good harvest after nearly four years. The sowing of pulses, maize, soya and groundnut have all gone up, which is a good sign,” he added.
Appealing to farmers to go in for crop insurance, Mr Gowda pointed out that it cost them only two per cent of the sum insured as the government paid the other 10 per cent....