Fertilizer position in the State is comfortable since it has stocked over and above the requirements, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugham informed the Assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to the debate on demands for grants for his Ministry, Mr. Arumugham said the State's April requirement of urea was 55,000 tonnes.

“We have 64,626 tonnes.” Similarly, it needed 22,000 tonnes of DAP for the month and had a stock of 42,211 tonnes.

In the case of potash, the need was for 45,000 tonnes and the State had 50,907 tonnes. It needed 4,000 tonnes of Super Phosphate and had stocked 11,629 tonnes. Adhering to the stance of the Centre, he said Bt. Brinjal would not be introduced in Tamil Nadu.

The Minister said of the 137 announcements made by him in the Assembly in the past four years, as many as 130 were in various stages of implementation and orders had been issued. Three of the remaining seven announcements, which required concurrence of the Centre, had been turned down. Orders for the three other announcements would be issued shortly.

Farmers' markets

The four announcements for which orders would be issued include setting up of 25 new uzhavar sandhais (farmers' market), announced in the 2010-11 Governor's address. The second related to increasing the price per tonne of sugarcane to Rs.2,000.

The third related to payment of premium of Rs.40 crore for the crop protection scheme and the setting aside the government's share of Rs.200 crore for it.

On the fourth announcement, which was yet to be implemented, the opinion of the Chief Engineer of Agriculture Engineering had been solicited. This related to the construction of check dams across rivers, rivulets and seasonal drains.

One of the announcements turned down related to the setting up of a zonal horticulture board in Chennai. The Centre pointed out that a branch of the horticulture board already existed.

The second one related to setting up of 16 fertilizer testing centres. This too was turned down. The third proposal related to setting up a new seed production centre and infrastructure. The Centre contended that there already existed a centre with facilities and turned down the proposal.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition O. Paneerselvam quoted statistics to prove that the AIADMK government had given higher price for cane farmers.

K. Pandurangan (AIADMK), miffed at not being allowed to speak, marched to the well of the House and sat down in protest. The Speaker warned that he would be forced to take action. After a few minutes, the member went back to his seat.