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Tomar Inaugurates Coconut Community Farmers' Conference at TNAU

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated Coconut Community Farmers' Conference at TNAU, Coimbatore on Friday.

Shivam Dwivedi
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at Coconut Community Farmers' Conf. in TNAU, Coimbatore
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at Coconut Community Farmers' Conf. in TNAU, Coimbatore

Addressing participants at the conference, Tomar said that the Government will continue to provide all possible assistance to farmers in coastal states in order to promote coconut cultivation in the country. He said efforts made in the field of research and development in recent years have resulted in the development of new technologies in farming and processing, as well as the improvement of existing technologies. 

Other eminent people present at the conference included M.R.K. Paneer Selvam, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of Tamil Nadu, K.R. Narayan, Vice Chairman, Coconut Development Board, Dr. Vijay Lakshmi, CEO and Joint Secretary of Union Agriculture Ministry Dr. Vijay Lakshmi, Central Horticulture Commissioner Prabhat Kumar, Vice Chancellor Geeta Lakshmi, Director of Sugarcane Breeding Institute and local public representatives and Central-State Government officials and farmers.

Tomar said that with the increase in the number of coconut-based industries in the country, new products and job opportunities are also on the rise.  He congratulated the Coconut Development Board and Sugarcane Breeding Institute on their initiatives aimed at the community's prosperity.

The minister further said as agriculture is the backbone of the country's economy, it is the responsibility of the federal and state governments to strengthen, promote, and ensure profitable farming for farmers.

It is worth mentioning that coconut cultivation makes a significant contribution to the agricultural economy. India is a world leader in coconut cultivation and one of the three largest producers. Tamil Nadu contributes 21 percent of the country's coconut area and 26 percent of the production.

Tamil Nadu ranks first in coconut processing activities, and Coimbatore ranks first in the coconut cultivation area, with 88,467 hectares under coconut cultivation. According to Tomar, farmers are making significant contributions to the development of the coconut sector and the agricultural economy.

By incorporating small and marginal farmers, the Coconut Development Board is forming a three-tier farmer group. The state currently has 697 Coconut Growers Societies, 73 Coconut Growers Federations, and 19 Coconut Producing Companies. Support has been provided for the establishment of 537 new processing units in India, with a total processing capacity of 3,638 million coconuts per year. This success has been achieved through the Coconut Development Board's Mission Program in the country. 136 of these units are from Tamil Nadu, where they are creating jobs and helping farmers improve their financial situation.

The agriculture minister also said that even when everything is going well in agriculture, farmers have to deal with natural disasters and suffer huge losses. For this, they must take advantage of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

Tomar added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken numerous steps to improve the agriculture sector over the last eight years. More than Rs 2 lakh crore has been deposited in the accounts of approximately 11.50 crore farmers through the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan).

In lieu of crop damage caused by natural disasters in the last six years, a claim amount of more than Rs.1.22 lakh crore has been deposited in farmers' accounts through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Previously, a provision of Rs 5,000 crore was made under the micro irrigation scheme, which has now been increased to Rs 10,000 crores. Micro-irrigation has been installed on 70 lakh hectares of farmland. Previously, crop loans under the Kisan Credit Card scheme were limited to five to six lakh crore rupees, which the Prime Minister has increased to approximately Rs. 18-and-a-half lakh crores.

A Rs. 1 lakh crore Agri Infra Fund has been established to improve infrastructure in each village. Farmers, farmer groups, FPOs, PACS, and Krishi Upaj Mandis can all use this to develop warehouses, cold storage, and infrastructure in villages as needed. The government is attempting to persuade farmers to grow profitable crops by establishing processing units through FPOs, for which loans and subsidies have been made available.

Tomar stated that the Central Government's schemes are intended to bring farmers prosperity and happiness. He assured farmers that they should submit projects in collaboration with the State Government, and that the Central Government, led by Prime Minister Modi, is standing with farmers and matching them step by step for their development.

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