70% of Karnataka’s Farmers depend on rain for their crops. These rain fed fields don’t have any form of assured irrigation during dry spells.
Frequent dry spells play havoc with crops & lives of rain fed farmers. When rains fail at crucial crop stages, crops fail wholly or partly. The total losses or lower yields reduce rain fed farming to an unsustainable proportion. This un-sustainability pushes some farmers out of agriculture itself.
The major challenge for our Government’s Agricultural Ministry is to offer solution that enables rain fed farming towards sustainable agriculture. Though rains fail at crucial times of crop cycles, nevertheless cumulative rainfalls tend to hover around the average rainfall by about a margin of 20%. This should suffice for a fair crop. Challenge is to store the run-off rain water from the farmer’s field and use stored water for crops when dry spells occur.
“Krishi Bhagya” is the Government‘s flagship scheme to achieve revolutionary change in Karnataka‘s farm sector.
Government is supporting farmers to make a farm pond with polythene lining (to prevent percolation), install pump and sprinkler irrigation system (for efficient water utilization). This intervention helps farmers to harvest surplus rain water, store effectively and irrigate crops with stored water efficiently. If farmers take proper advantage of this program they can save their crops or enhance yield by about 30%. By delivering that much more income, this program hopes to bring sustainability into rain fed farming. One time intervention that can potentially help farmers stand on their own feet.
Listed below are some of the novel implementations on the scheme.
- As cost of agricultural farm machinery machinery is not affordable by many small land holders, 70-crore scheme to provide machinery at affordable rents to farmers. Farm machinery includes tractors, tillers, cultivators, diggers etc
- 183 Farm machinery and equipment hiring centres already established all over Karnataka. 278 new ones will be opened this year
- “Bhoochethana & BhooSamruddhi” Programme to rejuvenate soil health and water management, has entered its third phase inKarnataka, where farmers have reaped huge gains from its adoption. The success of this programme has caught worldwide attention.
- 72 lakh hectares for 40 lakh farmers under the scheme. The procedure focuses on rain-fed areas. Rainwater is held in farm ponds that have plastic sheets laid on their bed, so that the water would not seep into the ground. It is then pumped to farms through the drip irrigation system so that not even a drop is wasted, and the crop gets the required quantity of water at the right time for a better yield
- State spends 80% of the cost of each unit of Rs.1.2 lakh, and remainder was to be borne by the farmer. Farmers are getting a return of Rs.15 per every Rs.3 invested.
- Krishi Mela’s are being held in every district to educate farmers on the latest developments in agriculture both in terms of practice and technology.
- Krishi Mela’s disseminate information on the scope of post harvest technology, seed processing, soil and water conservation practices, organic farming, green house technology and farm machinery. They also tell the farmers about availability of technical, financial and other supports offered under various Government schemes. Create awareness amongst the farming community on judicious use of natural resources