TAMIL NADU

Cold storage facility for banana to be set up

INFRASTRUCTURE: Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam, second from right, having a word with Horticulture Commissioner Jagmohan Singh Raju, right, at Chinnamanur on Wednesday. Agriculture Secretary Surjit K. Chowdhry, second from left, and Co llector Har Sahay Meena, are also seen.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam, second from right, having a word with Horticulture Commissioner Jagmohan Singh Raju, right, at Chinnamanur on Wednesday. Agriculture Secretary Surjit K. Chowdhry, second from left, and Co llector Har Sahay Meena, are also seen.  

Staff Reporter

At a cost of Rs.5 cr. at Chinnamanur: Minister

THENI: A ripening chamber-cum-cold storage facility for banana would be set up soon at an estimated cost of Rs.5 crore at Chinnamanur, one of the major banana producing centres in the district, said Veerapandi S. Arumugam, Minister for Agriculture.

He was addressing banana growers buyers’ meet at Chinnamanur in the district on Wednesday.

Such a facility with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes would reduce production costs as banana growers used to send raw banana to Bangalore for ripening and transport to other places for marketing. Moreover, they have to pay Rs.1.30 per kg as ripening charges. This facility would also cut transport expenses, the Minister said . An open area on the agriculture produce marketing limited office campus was identified for it.

“Cold storage facility for grapes at an estimated cost of Rs.3.75 crore is also coming up near Odaipatti, a major grape producing centre. Funds were granted and administrative sanction was given.

The district would have a fertilizer-testing , seed testing and pesticide labs shortly to enable farmers to take up precision farming, Mr. Arumugam said .

Responding to an appeal for compensation for betal leaf, he advised the Collector to send a report on crop damage to release suitable compensation to farmers.

In his special address, the Agriculture Secretary Surjit K. Chowdhry, said that time had come for transformation in agriculture practices. Now, farmers had to shift to organic farming and reduce chemical inputs. Precision farming methods must be adopted in a scientific way for better productivity and conserve soil. Farmers should grow crops scientifically to tap international market, he added.

The Commissioner for Horticulture, Jagmohan Singh Raju, said that integrated banana project, which makes farmers to produce banana in large scale under cluster formation, was a boon to banana growers to get better price for their produce and boost profit.

Highlighting global demand for banana, he said cluster formation alone would help farmers produce banana with uniform colour, size and high quality in large scale at one place, which would attract buyers, particularly exporters, to procure in bulk.

Under this project, post-harvest technology and single window system for financial assistance would also be extended. This project would be implemented with the participation of government and private sector. A similar project for mango, coco and grape was also on, the Commissioner added.

The Collector Har Sahay Meena said 38,600 hectares was under horticulture crop, 34 per cent of the total cultivation area. The Director for Agriculture C. Kosalaraman and other spoke.



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