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Commodity interest groups in each block

Special Correspondent
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These groups on different agriculture produce aim at taking latest technologies to farmers

fast and accurate:A woman demonstrating the new battery-operated mini cotton harvester at Karattampatti village on Thursday.
fast and accurate:A woman demonstrating the new battery-operated mini cotton harvester at Karattampatti village on Thursday.

Commodity interest groups on different agriculture produce such as maize, paddy and cotton, are being promoted in the district under Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) for disseminating latest technologies to farmers.

Seven or eight groups would be formed in each block in the district, sources in the Agriculture Department told The Hindu .

Each of the group would have about 15 members, comprising local farmers and women. Capacity building trainings for the groups are being organised across the district by the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business so that the group members in turn could sensitise farmers in their villages to latest cultivation technologies and marketing avenues.

The initiative was formally inaugurated with the launch of the newly formed groups for maize at Venkatesapuram in Thuraiyur block on Thursday by C.Elangovan, Additional Director of Agriculture (IAMWARM and ATMA), Chennai.

The groups at Venkatespuram, where maize is being raised in about 250 hectares, would coordinate with the farmers at the field level to promote latest techniques in cultivation of the crop to improve the yield and provide guidance on marketing the produce at good prices.

The groups would also help in establishing linkages for contract farming with entrepreneurs.

Mr.Elangovan emphasised the importance of seed treatment, application of bio fertilizers, micro nutrients and maintenance of optimum population to get high yield. Mr.Elangovan gave away a rotavator to a farmer under National Food Security Mission for Pulses.

Later, speaking at an entrepreneurship training for farm women under Tamil Nadu Farm Women in Agri Business and Extension Scheme (TANWABE) at Karattampatti village of Musiri block, he said women could effectively disseminate new agricultural technologies and serve as a vital link between the Agriculture Department and farmers in increasing the crop yield.

J.Sekar, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruchi, R.Chandrasekaran, Deputy Director of Agriculture (central schemes), and S.Rajasekaran and M.Rajamani, Assistant Directors, were present.

Demonstration

Mr.Elangovan inspected a demonstration of a new battery-operated mini cotton harvester at the village.

A large number of women farmers participated in the demonstration and they were also trained in harvesting the cotton by using the handy machine.

Using the machine, a woman can harvest up to 100 kg of kapas a day, department officials said.

Subsidies have been provided to TANWABE members for purchase of the machines.

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