06 May 2016 Current Affairs: The Karnataka State government has decided to go ahead with the establishment of Asia’s first Rice Technology Park at Gangavati in Koppal district and a Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur in Haveri district on the public-private participation model as a one-stop solution to all problems of rice and maize growers.
These parks would pave the way for opening new avenues for rice and maize growers to add value to their produce and get better returns and also enhance quality of the produce. While the rice park is being established at Navali-Karatagi villages on the outskirts of Gangavati, the maize park is to be come up in the APMC market yard at Ranebennur.
The establishment of the Rice Technology Park will convert Gangavati into a major agri business centre in the State and help rice growers in the region to end their dependence on mills in neighboring States for processing paddy.
Although the production of paddy has more than doubled in the recent years, the processing facility has not grown to match it. According to an estimate, more than 50 per cent of the paddy produced in the region is sent elsewhere for processing.The establishment of the Rice Technology Park will help paddy cultivators in the Tungabhadra Command Area in Ballari, Raichur and Koppal districts and also in the command areas of the Upper Krishna Project in Shahpur and Surpur taluks in Yadgir district and Vijayapura and Bagalkot districts.
In the Tungabhadra Project region, the area under irrigation is 9 lakh acres and 95 per cent of it is under paddy cultivation. The farmers in the command area grow two crops of paddy in a year.The area under paddy is likely to increase with additional allotment of water in the Krishna by the Krishna River Water Disputes Tribunal. The area under irrigation in the Krishna Basin is likely to go up by another 4.61 lakh hectares.
As a value addition, the technology park would have facilities for rice flour, rice rava, rice bran oil, noodles, rice-based alcohol, animal and poultry feed and paddy husk used for power generation and brick-making.With maize being the second major crop cultivated in the State with an annual production of around 4 million tonnes, there was an urgent need to strengthen maize processing units to add value to the produce and get more returns to farmers.
Maize is predominantly grown in Haveri, Davangere, Ballari, Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkot and Chikkaballapur districts. The proposed park will at Ranebennur will have a storage capacity of 32,000 tonnes.The proposed maize technology park being established at a cost of Rs. 111 crore would have mills for production of maize flour, maize flakes, poultry feed, dry maize, maize chips and popcorn to add value to the produce and enable farmers get better returns. The proposed Rice Technology Park is being established at a cost of Rs. 122 crore in an area of 300 acres.