Special Correspondent

Officials to visit Puducherry today

  • Puducherry, Karaikal likely to have one procurement centre each
  • Farmlands have shrunk to 30,000 hectares

    Puducherry: A team of officials from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Chennai, will pay a visit to Puducherry on Wednesday to finalise an agreement with the Department of Agriculture here for purchase of paddy from farmers in Puducherry and Karaikal districts.

    An official source told The Hindu here on Tuesday that the team would comprise General Manager of the FCI Y.K. Kunju and Assistant General manager A.S. Arunachalam (Chennai).

    The area manager of the FCI at Cuddalore, P. Subramanian, would also be part of the team, which would hold discussions with the Agriculture and Industries Minister V. Vaithilingam.

    A team of Agriculture Department officials, led by Sathiaseelan, would participate in the deliberations at the end of which an agreement would be signed.

    The department was finalising all modalities to facilitate the procurement of the paddy by the FCI. A request was made in this regard on Monday by the Agriculture Minister and PMK Member of Parliament M. Ramadoss to the Union Food Ministry in New Delhi.

    Puducherry and Karaikal were likely to have one procurement centre each.

    The Union Territory has around 40,000 hectares of cultivable land until some years ago.

    But with the fast conversion of agricultural lands into residential and non-agricultural projects, the size of farmlands had shrunk to 30,000 hectares now.

    Consequently, the food production had fallen from 1 lakh tonnes to 70,000 tonnes a year. The administration had intensified steps to ensure that there was no further disturbance of the lands.