A three-day “Vivasaya Thiruvizha” (agricultural festival) was inaugurated at the Agricultural College and Research Institute near here with the initiative of the Confederation of Indian Industry (Madurai Chapter).

Speaking on the occasion, State Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Sandeep Saxena stressed the need for adapting modern technology and techniques by the farmers. By doing so, the farmers could reap huge profits and the productivity would go high, he said.

At a time when getting skilled farm labourers was a big challenge, it was imminent to get used to the latest technology, Mr.Saxena said, adding Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had unveiled a vision plan, which would take the State to the top slot in agriculture sector. Six per cent of the State’s population relied on agriculture. With three per cent of the total water resources available to irrigate about four per cent of the cultivable land, the farmers had to produce different crops.

Hence, the farmers needed guidance before and after harvest to avoid wastage of water in any form. The farmers would also be sensitised to the importance of value addition, he noted.

In his address, Horticulture Commissioner Satyabrata Sahoo said 50 per cent of the horticultural crops harvested in the State came from the southern districts. Tamil Nadu ranked among the top three States in the country in producing crops such as banana. The government would intervene to step up the crop production, he asserted.

Inaugurating the festival, Mayor V. V. Rajan Chellappa said the government was determined to improve the standard of living of all classes. Events like ‘Uzhavar Thirunaal’ organised for the farmers would play a significant role in the growth of agricultural sector, he said.

Agricultural College Dean Chinnasamy and CII national task force member Thyagarajan also spoke.

Earlier, CII (Madurai Chapter) chairman Kathir Kamanathan welcomed. Vice-chairperson Dr.Rohini Sridhar proposed a vote of thanks. About 70 stalls displaying farm equipment, implements and accessories and innovations have been put up, and workshops are organised for farmers.

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