: The subsidy scheme to promote samba cultivation announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has not been of any use to most of the farmers, the Agriculturists’ Wing of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has alleged.

In a statement here, Puliyur R. Nagarajan, vice president of the unit, pointed out that the State government had announced a fertilizer subsidy of Rs.80 crore for samba cultivation.

Accordingly, the subsidy per hectare worked out to Rs.1,100 which would be adjusted when fertilizer is purchased.

However, the Agriculture Department has been insisting that farmers should buy 82.5 kg urea, 130 kg DAP and 50 kg potash simultaneously in order to avail the subsidy.

Similarly, under another plan, Rs.1,125 has been announced as subsidy for purchase of 300 kg complex and 50 kg potash.

Mr. Nagarajan alleged that farmers were forced to buy both items to avail the subsidy.

“Only when we purchase all these items the subsidy amount is deducted from the total purchase price,” he added. What is the difficulty in permitting the farmers to procure these items separately, he wondered.

According to him, many farmers did not utilise this type of subsidy programme because they could not spare Rs.5,000 for purchase of all the fertilizers.

Hence, he is definite that the entire subsidy of Rs.80 crore would not have been utilised by now.

He wondered why officials should insist on purchase of all the items for granting subsidy.

“ Now all we need are only urea and potash. And the subsidy for the same should be given to farmers. In addition, for various agricultural operations, including spraying, Rs.5,000 should be given as subsidy in cash per acre directly to farmers, he pleaded.

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