Bengaluru, July 10: Coming to the rescue of mango farmers in distress in the state, Karnataka government today announced a support price of Rs 2.50 per kg.
The announcement comes on a day when Srinivasapura, a major mango growing region in Kolar district observed bandh demanding that government come to the rescue of mango farmers as prices have seen a steep fall.
"We are doing the market intervention to support our farmers, the state government has decided to announce the support price of Rs 2.50 per kg.
We will take steps in this regard," Agriculture Minister Shivashankar Reddy said in the Legislative assembly.
As the House met for the day, Reddy said mango farmers, who are in distress, are throwing mangoes on the streets and protesting.
Farmers in Srinivasapura have called for a bandh and the government has taken the issue seriously, he said.
He said there were only two processing units in the mango growing region of Kolar and Chikkabalappura, while there are about 16 in neighboring Andhra Pradesh.
Intervening, Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who represents Srinivasapura constituency, said Andhra Pradesh has banned produce coming from Karnataka to processing units in their state as production has increased.
Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who intervened, said he was aware that Mango farmers are in distress and has spoken to officials and Agriculture Minister in this regard.
Kumaraswamy said he had also made efforts to speak to the Andhra chief minister, who was currently in Singapore.
"For the first time support price is being given to mango and this might put burden of Rs 15 crore to 20 crore on the government," he said.
Stressing the need for setting up more processing units in the state, the chief minister said the government would take necessary steps int his regard.
Appreciating government's move, Speaker Ramesh Kumar asked government to ensure that payments are made to farmers through Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) to avoid any misuse.
He also suggested that government make an appeal to farmers to end their protest and if possible Agriculture minister visit them.
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