The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has called for the use of solar-powered farm pump sets to tide over the problem of power shortage in rural areas.
Stating that agriculture had been affected severely because of the imposition of power cut, the party, in its document on agriculture, stressed the need for tapping solar energy. Steps should be taken for the distribution of solar powered-farm pump sets at concessional rates.
S. Ramadoss, PMK founder, released the document at a function in Chennai on Tuesday.
The party also called for finding just solutions to disputes of water sharing over inter-State rivers.
To tackle the problem of labour shortage in rural areas, following migration of people to towns such as Karur, Tirupur and Erode that had substantial presence of industrial units, machines and appropriate technologies should be deployed for the farm sector. A scheme – mechanised farm villages – could be implemented to address the issue of labour shortage.
The PMK reiterated the establishment of a farmers' income commission to ensure that farmers and agricultural labourers were given their remuneration directly with a fair pricing system for agricultural produces. A fair determination committee should form part of the proposed commission.
The party was for providing insurance cover and pension to all the farmers and farm workers. It also mooted contract farming by farmers and farmers' confederations to meet food requirements of educational institutions, industrial establishments and information technology firms.
Highlighting issues and problems concerning the existing system of land acquisition for industrial or development projects, the party recommended acquisition of lands on lease instead of outright purchase.
Benefits of such projects should be proportionately distributed among land owners and landless persons in a given area.