Special Correspondent

SALEM: Tamil Nadu Agriculture Marketing Society has been entrusted with the task of identifying the `Uzhavar Santhais' where `mini cold storages' could be established, the Agricultural Minister, Veerapandi S. Arumugam, has said.

The mini cold storages would enable the farmers to store and preserve their unsold vegetables in good condition, he said and added that the Society had already begun an exercise to identify the `santhais' where the facility could be utilised by the farmers to the optimum level. "We cannot establish them at places where the arrival of vegetables is poor and tardy," the Minister pointed out while talking to reporters here on Thursday.

He said that the government had been taking all efforts to `revive' the `santhais' with additional infrastructure facilities. The Agriculture Ministry would approach the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to seek exemption from its routine practice while recruiting senior officials like in the ranks of Assistant Directors and Deputy Directors in the Agriculture Department. "Vacancies have affected the routine works. Nearly 4,800 posts from Assistant Agricultural Officer to Joint Director of Agriculture are lying vacant. Hence, we have asked the TNPSC to opt for direct recruitment," he said.

Adequate water and farm inputs had enabled the Cauvery delta farmers to achieve increased production.