Tamil Nadu

Inter-ministerial team to clear eight agro-processing clusters

State govt. has tied up with NABARD, plans to seek Central aid

An inter-ministerial team of the Centre will meet on February 26 to clear the State government’s proposals for the setting up of eight agro-processing clusters in various districts.

A senior official of the Agriculture Department said the clusters, estimated to cost ₹218 crore, were expected to come up in Theni, Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Madurai, and will be covered under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY), a reference to which was made in the State Budget.

Besides, another set of food parks will be set up in Dharmapuri, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Karur, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram and Tenkasi at a cost of ₹70 crore, for which Central assistance will be sought.

As of now, the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries has notified the proposed Gangaikondan food park in Tirunelveli as a designated food park in the State. The food park, which will come up on 53.36 acres of land, is estimated to cost ₹77.94 crore. For the purpose of financial assistance, the State government has tied up with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). “We will be seeking funds from the Centre,” the official said.

Market complexes

Integrated farmers’ market complexes will be established in Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri, Madurai, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli on a pilot basis at a cost of ₹50 crore through the NABARD – Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure Fund.

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, in his Budget speech, said that as part of strengthening the extension activities of the Agriculture Department, particularly in the delta, the government would launch a scheme to bring farmers and officials closer through a structured programme of interaction, Uzhavar–Aluvalar Thodarbu Thittam, wherein the latter would provide agriculturists technical advice on farming operations. Considering the fact that sugar mills in the State were under financial stress, the government had come forward to absorb a transport subsidy of up to ₹100 a tonne for the 2019-20 crushing season. The expenditure would be ₹110 crore.

Mr. Panneerselvam announced the second edition of dry land development on a cluster-based approach, under which 25 lakh acres would be covered in three years. In the first year, the plan was to cover 7.5 lakh acres through 3,000 clusters at an outlay of ₹180 crore.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 7:54:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/inter-ministerial-team-to-clear-eight-agro-processing-clusters/article30825435.ece

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