It helps to achieve per hectare productivity between 10 tonnes and 13 tonnes
CHENNAI: The government will give greater emphasis to bring more areas under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technology to enhance productivity of paddy in the State, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam told the Assembly.
Wrapping up the debate on the demand for grants to his department, Mr Arumugam said the technology was demonstrated on an extent of 11,300 hectares by extending input subsidy of Rs. 2,000 per hectare and imparting training to 56,600 farmers during 2007-2008. It helped to achieve the per hectare productivity between 10 tonnes and 13 tonnes. Last year, 4.2 lakh hectares were covered. This year’s target was 7.5 lakh hectares.
Promotion of SRI to maximise rice production would be among the major strategies to achieve the production target, he said.
Comparing the performance of the previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime on the agriculture front with that of the present government, Mr. Arumugam said the per hectare productivity was 2,838 kg in 2005-2006 whereas it was estimated at 3,600 kg in 2007-2008, despite floods many parts of the State faced twice.
To promote organic farming among small and marginal farmers, the certification fee had been reduced. From this year, the fee for these farmers would be Rs. 500 and for others Rs. 1,000.
In respect of the corporate sector, the fee would be Rs. 5,000.
As the small and marginal farmers were not in a position to purchase modern implements, the agricultural engineering department would supply the implements to them on nominal hire charges. The government would buy 60 rice transplanters, 40 rice harvesters, 10 maize harvesters, 90 tractors and 300 power weeders at a cost of Rs. 25 crore.
This year, all the 338 posts of assistant professor lying vacant in the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University would be filled.
The services of 1,072 farm daily-wage workers attached to the university, who had served for over 20 years, would also be regularised.
The Minister announced that the loan arrears of Rs. 187.06 crore, due from farmers under the catchment area development programme since April 1, 1980, would be waived. This would benefit about 24 lakh farmers.