Attributing to adoption of new farm technologies the possibility of attaining production of 110.59 metric tonnes of food grains and pulses in Tamil Nadu during 2009-10 despite impeding factors like agricultural area shrinkage and inundation of fields caused by unfavourable monsoons, Minister for Agriculture Veerapandi S. Arumugam said increasing productivity through mechanisation was the solution in the situation of receding manpower.

The production was 91.11 lakh metric tonnes last year.

Sound augury

The prevalent demand for purchase of hi-tech farm implements with attractive subsidy component was a sound augury, the Minister said addressing the valediction of the four-day Agri Expo 2010 organised by Dinamalar here on Sunday.

Of the 131 stalls featuring the latest farm technologies, 24 were put up by Government departments and allied entities.

Awards presented to best stalls

Mr. Veerapandi presented awards to best stalls on the occasion in the presence of Union Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru, Forests Minister N. Selvaraj, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University P. Murugesaboopathi, Director of National Research Centre for Banana M.M. Mustafa, and Chairman of Tamil Nadu State Agricultural Marketing Board K.P.T. Ganesan.

Paddy output enhancement

Through the system of rice intensification, it was possible to enhance paddy output from 9,000 kg to 13,000 kg per hectare.

Likewise, precision farming led to three-fold increase in the output of vegetables and fruits, he said.

Offers support

Referring to the desire expressed by associate editor of Dinamalar R. Ramsubbu, earlier to enhance the scale of the third edition of the fair next year to feature farm technologies at the global level, Mr. Arumugam committed the support of the State Government.

He sought to drive home the point that the State Government would always stand by the farmers while describing Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s assertion of rights to fix the price for sugarcane. He wanted model farmers to avail themselves of the various benefits like construction of link roads and priority in registration for power that were inherent in the State’s new industrial policy.

Adequacy of stocks of fertilisers and seeds, pro-active field staff of the Agriculture and allied departments, and access to new technologies were among the favourable factors Mr. Arumugam cited to instil hope in the minds of farmers.

About 70,000 people were estimated to have visited the various stalls during the expo.