Emphasis on dairy farming

Special Correspondent

SIVAGANGA: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has called upon agriculturalists to strive hard for a “white revolution” to improve the rural economy.

Inaugurating a chilling plant of Hatsun Dairy at Kootturavupatty near here on Saturday, he said that there were several examples to show that the earning capacity of farmers who had milch animals was good. The country had infrastructure to increase the number of animals. Each farmer should have at least 2 milch animals. If the farmers who had 5 acres of land reared 20 animals, they could excel in dairy farming.

Mr. Chidambaram said that, keeping that in mind, he launched a scheme several months ago in Sivaganga district to extend loan to farmers for buying 5,000 milch animals.

The target had been achieved in the district. Bankers were asked to support those who wanted to buy more milch animals.

Food requirement

The country could not meet the requirement of rice, wheat, milk and other food grains by importing, as other countries could not supply the huge requirement for 117 crore people. It was important to meet the demand mainly by inland cultivation. The United Progressive Alliance government had introduced two important schemes on an outlay of Rs. 30, 000 crore — Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and National Food Security Mission.

Terming the trend of diminishing interest towards agriculture among the farmers as “dangerous,’ the Minister said that they had to take up agriculture by following innovative methods and technologies. The government had also taken several measures to get a reasonable price for their produce. The procurement price of paddy and wheat which was at Rs.500 and 650 per quintal four years ago had been increased to Rs.875 and Rs. 1,100 respectively. Concentrating more on allied agricultural activities could bring attractive returns to them.

Managing Director of Hatsun Agro Products R.G. Chandra Mogan, who presided over the meeting, said that the State had attained a growth of 8.11 percent in milk production as against the national average of 4.53.

His company had successfully demonstrated that Rs.1 lakh could be earned from an acre through dairy farming.

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