Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Shobha Karandlaje on Monday said that she has urged the Forest Minister of the State to look into simplifying forest laws that are affecting the farmer community.
Speaking at a public felicitation programme organised in Puttur, Ms. Karandlaje said that the forest laws do not allow farmers to harvest trees grown on their patta land and sell them. When the laws are relaxed, farmers can be allowed to raise forest crops on their land, harvest them and either use them for their own purpose or sell them, she said.
Ms. Karandlaje said that she and the former Union Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda grew up in politics in Puttur and are recognised at the national level. She was not a competitor to senior leaders, including Mr. Sadananda Gowda, Ms. Karandlaje said and added that he was her guide. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given an opportunity to her and she would work in such a way to add name to the government.
The Union Minister said that steps would be taken to open agriculture laboratories in agricultural universities to test and certify agri-products, including honey. Though the Malnad region was known for apiculture, lack of testing was affecting it, she said.
She said that the Union government was supporting agriculture in a big way. So far, it has released ₹1.57 lakh crore to 21 crore farmers under the Kisan Samman programme.
Felicitating the Union Minister, MLA Sanjeev Matandur said that the coastal region felt honoured with Ms. Karandlaje being appointed a Union Minister. Since she rose from the grassroots fighting for the cause of the common man, she will be able to do justice to the farmer community in the country. He urged Ms. Karandlaje to promote thinking about alternative crops for arecanut, setting up agriculture laboratories and soil testing centres and encourage exports of agriculture produce.
Puttur City Municipal Council president K. Jeevandhar Jain, the former MLA Mallika Prasad and others were present.
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