30 farmers from across the state presented their views

Heeding the call of the State Government to provide need-based support to farmers, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) held a Farmers’ Conference, here on Friday, to collect inputs from stakeholders. The conference, which went on non-stop for six hours, was chaired by Agriculture Minister S. Damodaran.

The event, where 30 farmers from as many districts, presented their views, was a culmination of a month long exercise that started with obtaining feedback at the Panchayat Union, Taluk and district-levels, the media, and political parties. Commissioners and Directors of six allied departments were also present to hear what the farmers had to say.

According to Vice-Chancellor of TNAU K. Ramasamy, this is the first step in the Government’s plan to transform agriculture in the State that would lead to increasing the production twofold and the farmer income threefold.

That the exercise was a serious effort was seen from the fact that the output received so far was released in the form of a booklet and distributed to the 500-odd farmers who participated in the conference on Friday.

Mr. Damodaran said that this first-of-a kind initiative was to formulate schemes and measures for farmers based on their need. This would be in keeping with the Chief Minister’s policy that “people are not for schemes, but schemes are for people.”

“All the suggestions are good and acceptable so much so that nothing can be rejected. Farmers have gone into much detail to come up with these and it will go a long way in transforming agriculture. We will try to implement these suggestions as soon as possible,” he said.

Suggestions pertaining to other departments such as Revenue and Public Works will also be represented to the respective ministers and officials,” he added.

Latest Technologies

He urged farmers to adopt the latest technology and equipment, developed by TNAU, to make agriculture profitable.

Sandeep Saxena, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Secretary to Government, Tamil Nadu, the outcome of the exercise was to make the ‘Vision Tamil Nadu 2023’ a reality by ensuring “food security to food surplus and smile on the face of the farmer.”

“The focus is also to increase the use of equipment by the farmer with the help of the Department of Agricultural Engineering. This was to address the problem of labour shortage. This will be done based on a census that will ascertain the need and supply.

Individual farmers have a limitation in bargaining. This can be overcome by creating Farmer-Producer Companies that will bargain, decide the price, and market the produce,” the Commissioner said.M. Rajendran, Director of Agriculture, and Satyabrata Sahoo, Commissioner of Horticulture and Plantation Crops, were present besides others.

The inputs received on Friday would be sorted and classified under different headings and consolidated with the inputs received so far before submitting a final draft to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Ramasamy said.

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