Within a year all schemes and subsidies formulated for agriculture sector will be implemented to make Tamil Nadu a model State in agriculture, Minister for Agriculture K.A. Sengottaiyan said here on Thursday.

Addressing the 41st Foundation Day of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, he said scientists had to contribute their bit to make this dream of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa a reality.

“Increasing agricultural production and feeding the population of the country are two areas that need focus. There is a general complaint that farm technologies are not reaching the farmer. But, Tamil Nadu is an example where scientists are working hand in hand with farmers to see that technologies are reaching the farmer to the extent possible.”

Recalling the contribution of the university in the development of agriculture, Mr. Sengottaiyan said those who had passed out from the portals of the university were serving the country and the world in various capacities. Their continued services were very vital to the country, which had 56 per cent of the population involved in agriculture and 1.30 lakh hectares under cultivation.

Later, answering questions of presspersons on the ban on endosulfan, the Minister said the government was familiarising itself with the issues and in due course the Chief Minister would announce relevant policy decisions.

He replied in similar vein to a question on the Tamil Nadu Toddy Movement's plea to the Chief Minister for lifting the ban on toddy tapping.

Major role

Minister of Special Programme Implementation S.P. Velumani said TNAU had played a major role in transforming production-oriented agriculture into market-oriented agriculture.

“Even though the economy is doing well and various businesses are prospering, it is a fact that farmers are not in an economically enviable position. Many schemes and subsidies were not reaching the farmers so far. Without improving the quality of the life of the farmer, we cannot look forward to increasing production and productivity.”

To mark the Foundation Day, 72 staff members who had completed 25 years of service were honoured. In addition, 41 awards were given away for the best researcher, teacher, extension worker, team researcher, college, research station, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

As many as 70 faculties, who had obtained research grants of Rs.5 lakh and above, were also honoured. Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Boopathi, Registrar P. Subbian, and Director of Research M. Paramathma spoke.