The three-day Krishi Mela 2020, organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore (UAS-B), began here on Wednesday. This year, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mela is low-key with limited number of people physically participating and limited number of stalls.
M. Byre Gowda of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) said 17 new agricultural technologies and three new varieties of crops, including groundnut, had been released this year for the benefit of farmers.
Demonstrations and information about the new agricultural technologies and three new varieties of crops were made during the the Mela.
Inaugurating the Mela, A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension) Division, (Extension) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, said the UAS has been continuously supporting farmers in the use of technologies.
“The Government of India and the ICAR have developed State-specific documents as to what has to be done in each State and how agriculture universities and ICAR institutes and farmers should work together so that the technologies that are required for doubling farmers’ income could directly go the farmers,” he said and added that they were working in 2,000 villages across the country to develop a model for doubling farmers’ income.
“ICAR has recently developed around 70 bio-fortified varieties which have micronutrients. Hence, there is great scope for bio-fortified research and practice in the country,” he said.
V. Venkatasubramanian of ICAR said that they were focusing on increasing the productivity of the crop and livestock, as also the cropping intensity.
“Around 33 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Karnataka are working to strengthen the quality and quantity of the produce and continuity of the produce based in the market demand and consumer preferences. We are apprising the farmers on generating resources on their own farm to reduce the cost of cultivation,” he said. Such efforts would yield better results in the future, he said.
Awards were given to progressive farmers at taluk level, district level and State levels at the Mela. Around 25 stalls on new technologies, including drone technology for farming, drew attention of farmers.
Those who are not able to physically attend the mela can watch it online on the website, YouTube, and social media.
Around 200 farmers were allowed at a time, and all anti-COVID-19 precautions, like face masks and social distancing, were in place. Only those in the age group of 18 to 60 are being allowed to physically attend the Mela.