Mysore/Mysuru: Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil today wanted farmers themselves to process agricultural produces and fix rate for the same.
He was speaking after inaugurating the ongoing farmers’ training programme under Prime Minister Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) in association with Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka and CSIR-CFTRI, at CFTRI premises here this morning.
The aim of this programme was to impart training to the identified farmers from each taluk of the State to promote ‘One District One Product’ under the broad areas of millets, tur dal and fruits and vegetables.
The Minister said while farmers slog in fields, the middlemen take benefit. The Government wants the farmer’s income to multiply as without which the nation would not progress. Karnataka has been the first State in the country to launch training programme under the PM FME scheme. Already, first batch of 500 farmers were undergoing three-months training programme. The CFTRI authorities have been requested to make it a permanent programme so that 2,000 farmers could take benefit of the same every year. “I want more and more farmers undergo training and start food processing units for their economic empowerment,” he said.
Marketing, branding important
He underscored the importance of branding and marketing and said that a progressive farmer from Karkala in Dakshina Kannada district has branded a variety of rice which was sought after in market. Agriculture must become an industry and farmers must reap the benefits by taking benefits extended by the State and Union Governments. During COVID-19 pandemic, when all industries shut and employees worked from home, it was farmers who carried out the activity braving the pandemic.
B. Sivaraj, Managing Director, Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC), said farmers from 18 districts were undergoing training in CFTRI. The Government of India has earmarked Rs. 1 lakh crore reserved for PM FME programme, Rs. 493 crore had been released to Karnataka.
S.I. Chikkangoudar, Chairman, KAPPEC, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General-CSIR and Secretary DSIR, Government of India and Dr. Sridevi A. Singh, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, were present.