R. Vimal Kumar
Agricultural Engineering Department aims at four per cent growth
Tuticorin: With an aim to achieve four per cent annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th Five Year Plan period, the Department of Agricultural Engineering will take up farm mechanisation in the district on an outlay of Rs.6.71 lakh this financial year.
The corpus, earmarked under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), will be disbursed to a total of 55 select-farmers as back-ended subsidy to procure various agricultural implements, machinery and ‘gender-friendly’ tools, essential for enhancing productivity.
Speaking to The Hindu, S. Sankaran, Executive Engineer, Department of Agricultural Engineering, said that the rate of subsidy would range from 25 per cent to 75 per cent as per the norms set by the Government for different gadgets.
Accordingly, the department would subsidise 25 per cent of the cost of accoutrements like power tiller, rotavator, cultivator and disc plough, 50 per cent of the cost of ‘paddy transplanter’ and 75 per cent of the cost of ‘gender friendly’ appurtenances like coconut de-husker, fruit harvester, sprayers, long handle spade and groundnut decorticators.
Mr Sankaran said that however, the purchase of tractors would not be covered under the scheme.
Of the total 55 beneficiaries to be selected, 12 each would be chosen from Ottapidaram and Srivaikundam blocks, 11 each from Kayathar and Tiruchendur blocks, and nine from rain-fed Vilathikulam block.
According to Mr. Sankaran, farm mechanisation would enhance the economic efficiency in crop production and yield. Besides, the process would help the sector to overcome acute labour shortage faced in the district.
The increase in the scale of operation and the rise in crop intensity made possible by mechanisation would lead to a net increase in farm employment over the years.