In view of acute shortage of pulses in Tamil Nadu, a strong appeal has been made to start a Pulses Board in the State.
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) also has voiced its support to this appeal and has announced that increasing the production or growing of pulses will be one of its top most priorities from now on. A representation was made to its Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Boopathi here on Thursday by a delegation, requesting him to take the issue with the State government so that a Pulses Board is set up on the lines of Spices Board to boost production of pulses through a focused approach.
After meeting the representatives of Tamil Nadu Food Grains Marketing Yard at the university's Agricultural College and Research Institute campus, the Vice-Chancellor told reporters that he also was of the opinion that the State required a Pulses Board. “It is the State government which has to take a decision. However, there is a need to step up overall pulses production because we are facing a severe shortage. While Tamil Nadu's requirement is seven lakh tonnes a year, it is getting only about three lakh tonnes and hence it is important to increase the area under cultivation of pulses,” he said.
Only about 4.5 lakh hectares of land was under cultivation of pulses in Tamil Nadu, and most of that too was rain-fed cultivation. “Farmers view pulses only as a bonus crop. Because of the huge shortage, we had to get supplies from the northern States. It is high time pulses were viewed as commercial crop. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is also determined to increase foodgrains production,” Dr. Boopathi said.
Stating that the university would focus more on pulses and oilseeds, he said that farmers should make use of the State government schemes. “Our university has given critical technology for increasing the yield of foodgrains, especially in paddy where laser levelling technique showed excellent results. We have advanced technology for pulses and sugarcane also,” he said.
He was in the city to inaugurate ‘INSPIRE' Science Camp organised by the Agricultural College and Research Institute for school students with the support of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
S. Rethinavelu, Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Marketing Yard at Sikkandarchavadi here, who made a request for setting up the Pulses Board, said that this demand would be made to the Agriculture Minister and senior officials of the State government soon.
K.Vairavan, Dean, Agricultural College and Research Institute-Madurai, and P. Banumathi, Dean, Home Science College and Research Institute, were present.