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Bio-resources complex project is a big hit

B.S. Satish Kumar


10,000 people, including 550 from abroad, have visited the project area


BANGALORE: At a time when the negative trend of farmers quitting agriculture is haunting the State, the Rural Bio-Resources Complex Project, which became successful in increasing the individual incomes of farmers in 75 villages of Doddaballapur taluk, has been attracting an unprecedented number of visitors.

Such is the popularity of this five-year project of the Union Department of Biotechnology and implemented by the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore, that visitors are still coming to the project site though the project has been completed in March 2010 itself.

According to UAS-B Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda, who worked as the co-ordinator of this project, more than 10,000 people have so far visited the project, which was taken up with a specific mandate of increasing farmers' income and instilling confidence in them in Tubagere hobli of Doddaballpur taluk covering 8,340 families.

This includes about 550 visitors from abroad. Officials and experts from 23 countries including Japan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh and several African countries, have visited the project area to study its sustainable development model. Even the Planning Commission is studying the outcome of this project by deputing its representatives to the project area.

Several scientists and extension experts from the University camped in villages for five years under this project to constantly monitor agricultural practices of each of the farming family and to guide them on the innovative methods.

The project's success caught the attention of the country's agricultural policy makers as all the 75 villages coming under this project registered a robust agricultural growth rate of about 11 per cent a year as against the State and country's rate of a little over 2 per cent.

The experts attach importance to this achievement as 64.76 per cent of the families coming under the project area are small and marginal farmers and about 25 per cent families do not have land.

The cornerstone for the project's success was an innovative idea of forming 10 groups of growers of various crops including jackfruits, flowers, corn, organic farming, rural bio-fuel growers and fish farmers to tap the benefits of co-operative farming.

These groups, which are active even now, procure farm inputs in a collective manner and also market the yield together so that they save on transportation costs besides having a better bargaining power while selling their produce.

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