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BANGALORE, MARCH 29:
Karnataka is setting up an integrated rice technology park at Koppal to boost paddy processing and production in the State.
The park is being set up at Karatagi in Koppal district on 471 acres of land. The park will have exclusive zones for modern rice mills; value added by-products, common facilities, warehousing, packing, quality control lab knowledge resource centre and transport.
It is expected to serve as a main marketing point for both farmers and traders from Bellary, Koppal and Raichur districts where paddy is largely cultivated.
“Bellary, Koppal and Raichur districts have around 200 rice mills operational. Due to lack of necessary infrastructure, a huge quantity of paddy is being transported to Tamil Nadu for processing,” said a study conducted by the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation (Kappec).
“The rice park when completed in two yeas will address this key issue and allow farmers and traders market their produce at a single point and also help improve paddy processing at the existing rice mills in the region,” it added.
The park is being set up according to the recommendations of a committee headed by thw former Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Dr P.G. Chengappa. The committee had recommended to the Government to set up integrated parks for value creation, which in turn would also give a boost to production and offer employment. The Chief Minister, Mr D. V. Sadananda Gowda, told State Assembly on Wednesday that land acquisition process had begun and so far 90 acres have been acquired. The process for acquisition 140 acres is also nearing completion.
“Though 330.17 acre of Government land is available, 121 acre of land has already been sanctioned for other needs and efforts are on to acquire these lands also,” he added.
The Chief Minister also said the Government plans to release Rs 5 crore grants for the park in the current fiscal.
To speed up land acquisition, Mr Gowda said a sub-divisional officer and land acquisition officer in Koppal have been authorised to release Rs 59.44 lakh for acquisition of 140.27 acres of land at Navali and Somanala villages for the park.