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State govt presents exclusive farm budget, first in TN

Chennai: Following through its election promises, the DMK government presented a budget exclusively for agriculture in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday containing schemes for the development of the farm sector, including one for self-sufficiency and farm growth in villages.

MRK Panneerselvam, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, presented the budget, saying farmers’ and experts’ views were sought and the budget was prepared as a result. ‘The agriculture budget is the aspiration of farmers. It is a dream of nature lovers.’ It is the first time a separate agriculture budget has been presented in Tamil Nadu.

The government has allocated Rs.34,220.65 crore for agriculture and related departments such as animal husbandry, fisheries, dairy development, irrigation, rural development, sericulture, and forest during 2021-22.

He announced a grant of Rs. 4,508.23 crore to the state-run electricity entity, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, for supplying electricity to farm pump sets free of charge. In order to bring prosperity to farmers and farm labourers in the Cauvery delta region, ‘it is proposed to declare this area as agro-industrial corridor,’ to promote agro-based industries, he said. The previous AIADMK government had declared the Cauvery delta region a protected agricultural area.

In regions such as Thanjavur, rice, pulses, bananas and coconuts are grown throughout the year. According to him, promoting rice and oil mills, coir units and pulse processing units (that use agricultural products from the delta region to produce value-added products) will contribute greatly to the welfare of farmers and farmworkers in the region.

Panneerselvam will implement a scheme with a total outlay of Rs.1,245.45 crore to promote overall agricultural development and self-sufficiency in all villages. According to him, this plan (Kalaignarin Anaithu Grama Orunginaintha Velaan Valarchi Thittam) will be implemented in 2,500 village panchayats this year (2021-22).

Each year, one-fifth of the 12,524 village panchayats in Tamil Nadu would be identified and the scheme shall be implemented in all of the panchayats areas in five years. Project objectives include bringing fallow lands into cultivation, enhancing water resources, installing solar-powered pumps, marketing value-added farm products, adopting micro-irrigation and increasing milk production.

He said the Chief Minister’s Dry Land Development Mission would be implemented in three lakh hectares to increase the income of farmers (depending on rainfed farming). The ‘Organic Farming Development Scheme’ will be implemented at a cost of Rs.33.03 crore to promote organic farming. According to him, organic farming inputs will be available through Agricultural Extension Centres, and among other measures outlined in the scheme, farms will also be certified as organic.


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