1. Agriculture World

DMK Government in Tamil Nadu Presents Budget Exclusively for Agriculture

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
M R K Panneerselvam

The DMK administration presented a budget primarily for agriculture in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday, in line with its election pledge, including schemes for the general development of the agricultural sector, including one for self-sufficiency and farm expansion in villages.

Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare M R K Panneerselvam, who presented the budget, stated that the views of farmers and experts were solicited and the budget was developed based on their input. "Farmers' ambition is to have a budget for agriculture. It is a nature lover's dream."

In Tamil Nadu, this is the first time a distinct budget for agriculture has been proposed.

Agriculture and associated sectors such as animal husbandry, fishery, dairy development, irrigation, rural development, sericulture, and forest would get Rs.34,220.65 crore between 2021 and 2022, he added.

He said, the state-run energy body, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, has been given Rs 4,508.23 crore for supplying free electricity to agricultural pump sets.

"It is suggested to declare this area as an agro-industrial corridor" to encourage agro-based enterprises, he added, in order to provide wealth to farmers and farm laborers in the Cauvery delta region.

The Cauvery delta region was proclaimed a protected agricultural zone by the previous AIADMK administration. Rice, lentils, bananas, and coconut are grown all year in places like Thanjavur, according to the Minister.

If rice and oil mills, coir units, and pulse processing facilities (which employ agricultural goods from this region to make value added products) are encouraged, it will help farmers and farm workers in the delta region considerably, he said.

According to Panneerselvam, a scheme of Rs 1,245.45 crore would be implemented to promote comprehensive agricultural growth and self-sufficiency in all Tamil Nadu villages.

This scheme (Kalaignarin Anaithu Grama Orunginaintha Velaan Valarchi Thittam), named after former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, would be implemented in 2,500 village panchayats in the current fiscal year (2021-22), he added.

Each year, one-fifth of Tamil Nadu's 12,524 village panchayats will be designated, and the program will be implemented in all of the panchayats' territories within five years.

The scheme's goals include bringing fallow areas back into agriculture, improving water resources, installing solar-powered pump sets, promoting value-added agricultural food, using micro-irrigation, and enhancing milk output.

The Chief Minister's Dry Land Development Mission, which aims to increase the income of farmers (who rely on rainfed farming), would be implemented on three lakh hectares, he added.

The "Organic agricultural development program" would be executed at a cost of Rs 33.03 crore to encourage organic farming.

Organic agricultural inputs would be accessible through Agricultural Extension Centres, and farms would be certified as organic as part of the scheme's many initiatives, he added.

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