Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami laid the foundation for the Advanced Institute for Integrated Research on Livestock and Animal Sciences at Thalaivasal in Salem district on Sunday.
“The international park will host a veterinary institute of global standards, a processing centre for dairy and meat-based products, an incubation centre where people interested in starting livestock-based businesses could undergo training, and various other facilities,” the CM said. A dedicated water scheme to supply Cauvery water to the institute will be implemented, he added.
Mr. Palaniswami said the State’s livestock population had increased by 21% thanks to government schemes involving the free distribution of livestock.
Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said, “Schemes like the distribution of free cattle, which was launched by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, have helped improve the livelihood of village women. The government has distributed free cattle to 87,444 village women till date. The cattle, and the calves they have produced, numbering 1,76,153, have helped increase dairy production and improve the livelihood of the beneficiaries of the scheme. Milk production in the State has increased to 2.66 lakh litres per day.”
Dig at Opposition
Criticising the Opposition, Mr. Panneerselvam said that while the State government was working for the welfare of the people, some leaders were devising plans to peddle lies and mislead them. He asserted that the AIADMK will emerge the victor in the 2021 election.
Minister for Animal Husbandry Udumalai K. Radhakrishnan said the veterinary institute in Salem will be the fifth such institute in the State, and admissions will be provided to 40 students this academic year itself. He added that the number of seats on offer will subsequently be increased to 80.
Mr. Palaniswami also inaugurated a three-day livestock and agricultural exhibition in Thalaivasal.
He and Mr. Panneerselvam distributed welfare schemes and inspected the various stalls set up at the exhibition.