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“Insurance for more crops in future”

Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam launching the bio-pesitcide developed by KVK at a function in Puducherry on Monday.

Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam launching the bio-pesitcide developed by KVK at a function in Puducherry on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo : T. Singaravelou

Staff Reporter

Vaithilingam appeals to farmers to make use of scheme

PUDUCHERRY: The government will provide insurance coverage to more cash crops in future, Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam said on Monday.

Appealing to farmers to make use of the insurance scheme currently available for rice and urad dal, he said in future more cash crops would be covered under the scheme. He was speaking at the inaugural of a five-day function to observe Technology Week at Perunthalaivar Kamaraj Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

Admitting that several farmers were not aware of the crop insurance scheme, he said field officers in the Agriculture Department had to create awareness about the scheme. Expressing concern over the slow progress made in increasing the cultivable land area, he said though government planned to bring 1,000 hectares under irrigation, only 123 hectares was used for farm activity.

The total cultivable area has come down to 22,000 hectares from 40,000 hectares available during 1980’s, he said, adding that there was an urgent need to increase agriculture activity for providing sustainable income to farmhands.

The Chief Minister launched two new bio-pesticides developed by the State Bio Control Laboratory functioning in PKVK at Kurumbapet. He handed over a few bottles of bio pesticides to Director of Agriculture Department R. Sathiyaseelan.

Mr. Vaithilingam also launched the brand name ARUMAI for food items manufactured by self-help group members trained by PKVK.

A release issued by PKVK said the bio-pesticides — Beauveria bassiana (Fungal Bio-pesticide) and Nucleo Polyhedro (Viral Bio-pesticide) are alternative to chemical insecticides. Both pollution-free and eco-friendly, the pesticides are useful in preventing pests inflicting crops such as paddy, sugarcane, cotton, groundnut, tomato, chilli, bhendi, brinjal, beans, lablab, cauliflower and cabbage.

The price of one kg of tale based Beauveria bassiana is Rs 155 and 250 ml of Nucleo Polyhedro costs Rs 175. By using these pesticides, a farmer can reduce cost of plant protection to an extent of 3/4th, the release said. Others who spoke at the function included Public Health Minister A. Namassivayam, Secretary (Agriculture) Hige Kojeen and Secretary (Fisheries) Cholleti Prabhakar.

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