The district administration has launched an ambitious project to promote integrated farms in each of the 404 village panchayats in the district with the target of generating an income of ₹1 lakh a month at every farm. The farms are to be managed by select women self help groups who have been provided necessary training.
The initiative, inaugurated recently by Municipal Administration Minister K.N. Nehru, would be implemented by the Rural Development Department by dovetailing various government schemes. The scheme is planned to be implemented to cover about 1,000 acres across the district.
Each of the farms would be established in a minimum area of one acre of land to be identified by the district administration. They would be established on pieces of land that were either recovered from encroachers or not in productive use.
As per the plan, a farm pond would be established under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme at the identified lands. The farm ponds would be the pivot around which various other income generating activities including chicken, cattle and goat rearing and bee keeping, horticulture, apiculture, and composting are to be taken up.
A shed would be erected at the centre of the farm pond where about 100 chickens would be reared. About 200 kg of fish could be reared a month at the farm pond. Through beekeeping, the farms could generate a monthly income of ₹12,000.
This apart, five cows and 10 goats could be reared at sheds to be erected at the farms. The remaining area would be used for raising vegetables, greens, flowers, herbal plants and mushrooms. No chemical fertilizer would be used and the entire farm would be fully organic, officials said.
Accompanied by Collector M. Pradeep Kumar, Mr. Nehru, who launched the scheme’s logo and the design of a model farm in the city recently, also inspected a farm established at Navalur Kottapattu in Manikandam union on the outskirts of the city. He appreciated the efforts put in by the Collector to identify/recover the land recovered for the project.