Consultative meeting to vitalise agriculture held

Staff Reporter

ARIYALUR: Ways of rectifying the decline in food production caused by migration of farmers to urban areas in search of employment, industrialisation, impact of flooding, labour shortage, low margin of returns and meagre land holdings of farmers were analysed during a consultative meeting held in the district on Thursday to decide upon the plan of action to vitalise agriculture in the district over the next four years.

The objective behind preparation of the blue print under the National Agriculture Development Policy that envisages accordance of a thrust on paddy cultivation, soil conservation, salinity control, raising nursery farms, and improving upon the system of agricultural marketing through utilising the allotment of Rs.27.75 crore was to enhance the agricultural sector’s growth from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent as planned by the Central Government, speakers emphasised at the meeting.

The speakers comprising Collector R. Sudalaikannan, Professor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural College C. Karthikeyan, Joint Director of Agriculture C. Ashokan and other senior officials of Agriculture Department focussed on the imperative need to increase food production in proportion to the rising population while eliciting the views of the participants encompassing chairpersons of panchayat unions and presidents of village panchayats.

Blue print

The Collector observed that the new approach of preparing blue print for a four year period would help the agriculture department and associated departments to implement projects with continuity.

A sum of Rs.7.10 crore would be spent during 2008-09, and the rest during the remaining period till 2012, he said, adding that the public opinion would serve the purpose of undertaking focussed initiatives.

Mr. Sudalaikannan urged the TNAU to impart to farmers the method of processing cashew fruits that usually go waste in the district after harvest. There was a potential to provide value addition to the crop through harnessing the nutrition of the fruits, he said.

The views of the public would be collated and forwarded to the Government along with appropriate recommendations, he said.

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