The Seed Village Scheme (SVS), conceived as an intervention to ensure production and availability of the seeds to the individual farmer, has been allotted with Rs.1.41 crore for Nagapattinam for the current fiscal of 2010-11.

It is expected to cover about 10 villages in each of the 11 blocks in the district and has been designed to relieve the dependency of farmers on external agencies for seeds.

Speaking to The Hindu, R.V.Karunakaran, Joint Director, Agriculture, said SVS aimed at easing the dependency of the farmers on government, private and cooperative agencies for seeds.

Over 8,850 metric tonne seeds would be required to meet the entire demands of the district. The scheme aims to address the demand by creating sustainable seed production by entrusting individual farmers with the task.

This entails setting up of seed farms by farmers and post-harvest sharing of excess seeds with the farming community in the village.

According to Mr.Karunakaran, training is to be provided at three stages; “at the time of nursery preparation, planting and harvest and post-harvest .” Under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), over 3,050 metric tonnes of paddy seeds has been allocated for general distribution at Rs.5 per kilogram. All farmers are entitled to the seeds under the NFSM.

However, the Seed Village Scheme conceived as a targeted scheme envisages distribution of a specified quantity of seeds at a 50 percent subsidy to select farmers in select villages in each block of the district.

Under the scheme, the agricultural department envisages distribution of 300 metric tonne paddy seeds, 200 metric tonne pulses seeds, and 10 metric tonne oil seeds at a 50 percent subsidy. An allocation of Rs.90 lakhs has been made towards subsidy. Nearly 130 field-level training programmes at an expenditure of Rs.19.50 lakh has been envisaged for farmers from the sowing stage up to harvest.

Further, to ensure quality storage, over 840 seed storage bins with two metric tonne capacity each and 1,240 storage bins with one metric tonne capacity each has been planned at a 50 percent subsidy for which Rs.31.50 lakh has been allocated .

According to Mr.Karunakaran, seed replacement every three years was the key to enhancing the reproductive capacity of seeds. Under the Scheme, selected farmers would be entitled to seeds at the 50 percent subsidy for not more than an acre, says Mr.Karunakaran.

In Nagapattinam, SVS envisages coverage of about 10 villages in each of the 11 blocks.

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