Staff Reporter

Stresses need for water conservation measures

ERODE: The Erode Collector, D. Karthikeyan, recently launched the Rs. 2194.68-crore Potential-Linked Credit Plan (PLCP) of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for the district. The Collector wanted the bankers to advance more crop loans and suggested improvement works along the Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) canal to draw more water into the canal.

The Collector said that out of the total amount, Rs. 805.19 crore had been earmarked for crop loan, Rs. 195.53 crore for agricultural term loan, Rs. 733.96 crore for non-farm sector loan and Rs. 460 crore for other priority sector loans.

The PLCP suggested that the State Groundwater Department may educate the farmers on spacing norms, suitable horsepower requirements for pumpsets and stressed the need for water conservation measures. The plan appealed to the State Government to take steps to prevent pollution of water in the canals by the tanners and dyers.

The government may consider relaxing land ceiling norms to encourage corporate bodies to invest in development of wastelands. Soil and water conservation measures such as contour stonewalls, disposal drains, staggered trenches etc in hill areas like Thalawady and Burgur are required to sustain crop productivity. It also suggested that the farmers should be encouraged to adopt organic farming methods.

Farm mechanism should be given importance and the farmers may be encouraged to raise plantation and horticulture crops. Under the animal husbandry and dairy development projects, calf-rearing scheme should be popularised and the farmers should be educated to obtain proper treatment for their animals in time.

The Assistant General Manager, NABARD, S. Srinivasan, and other lead bank officials, RBI representative and others spoke.