G. Prabhakaran

For implementation of the National Food Security Mission

Technology mission agency to implement scheme

Agriculture Department to take up nutrient management

PALAKKAD: The Government of India has released Rs.188.85 lakh for the implementation of the National Food Security Mission (rice) in Palakkad during 2008-09.

The National Food Security Mission had been launched as a Centrally sponsored scheme. It is meant to focus on districts which have a high potential and low output. Palakkad district was thus selected.

A State-level paddy board was constituted recently under the chairmanship of the State Agriculture Minister for implementing and monitoring the programme.

At the district level, the scheme is being implemented through the Agriculture Technology Mission Agency (ATMA). A District Food Security Mission executive committee had also been constituted.

The State government’s order number 118\08\AD, Agriculture (Planning) Department of July 18, 2008, said the National Development Council in its 53rd meeting had adopted a resolution to launch a Food Security Mission comprising rice, wheat and pulses for increasing the production of rice by 10 million tonnes, wheat by 8 million tonnes and pulses by 2 million tonnes by the end of eleventh Plan.

The National Food Security Mission was launched to make operational the NDC resolution.

Demonstration of improved practices and system of ‘rice intensification’ will be conducted at the farmers’ place to create awareness about the improved practices (hybrid seed, fertilizer management and practices).

Only high-yielding varieties, which are not older than five years, and identified for the region will be used for demonstration.

The seeds of such varieties will be supplied by the National Seeds Corporation, the State Seed Authority and private seed producing agencies identified by the State government.

The nodal agency will arrange seed and other critical inputs for conducting these demonstrations. The total area under rice cultivation in Palakkad district is 1,13,919 hectares. The State government proposes to implement this programme on 48 hectares.

Rice intensification

‘Rice intensification’ demonstrations will be conducted on the fields of farmers who have an assured irrigation facility.

Assistance of Rs.3,000 per demonstration will be provided to the implementing agencies.

The State government proposes to implement this programme on an area of 24 hectares and the total amount earmarked for it is Rs.1.80 lakh for 60 plots.

Nutrient management

The nutrient management component will be implemented by the State Department of Agriculture. As assistance of Rs.500 per hectare or 50 per cent of the cost of micronutrients, whichever is less, will be given to the farmers for rice. The assistance will be provided to those farmers in places where the soil is deficient in micronutrients.

Seed kit programme

Mini kits meant to popularise the latest varieties of seeds will be taken up.

These will be distributed to the farmers free of cost. About 2400 mini kits of the Uma variety of rice will be given away initially.

A sum of Rs.500 per hectare will be provided for the promotion of integrated pest management.

The assistance will be limited to 2 hectares per farmer. It is proposed to cover an area of 5,000 hectares at a cost of Rs.25 lakh.