Bio-fuel plantation farm set up

Staff Reporter

DINDIGUL: A model bio-fuel plantation farm has been set up at a cost of Rs.5.50 lakhs at Sandhaiyur in Batlagundu union to promote cultivation of bio-fuel plants among farmers in rain-fed areas.

Women self-help group manning Sekkapatti farm has offered Rs.5 lakhs from their profit for this project.

(They had returned Rs.5 lakhs out of their total profit of Rs.8 lakhs to the District Rural Development Agency last month. This amount was diverted to this project.)

Sandhaiyur village panchayat and Sandhaiyur men SHG had contributed Rs.50,000 as their share to this project.

Planting of 15,000 saplings of jatropha, pungan and neem trees had commenced on 35 acres of land offered by the Revenue Department.

Demonstration fields including organic farm, rain-fed garden, seedling farm and irrigation model would be created in the farm.

Besides, apiculture, vermicompost, dairy, poultry and nurseries would be introduced in a phased manner to boost farm income.

Infrastructure facilities would be created through various ongoing projects sponsored by the State Government.

Already, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, trained SHG members in maintaining different species of trees. Besides, Horticulture College and Research Station and Department of Horticulture would extend technical assistance to SHG about farm maintenance periodically.

When contacted, project economist, K. Ganesan said that DRDA had planned to impart training through field demonstration on harvesting seeds and processing them shortly.

This farm would act as a training ground for farmers to learn technical know-how on growing bio-fuel plants.

It would sell seedlings of bio-fuel trees to farmers. National Horticulture Mission had allocated Rs.60,000 to set up vermicompost yard.

The farm would provide direct employment to 10,000 man-days and 20,000 indirect man-days.

After the project period, farm administration would be brought under the control of SHGs.

Farmers in rain fed areas could contact the farm for technical assistance and seedlings to take up bio-fuel plantation for sustainable development.

Collector S. Murugaia inspected the farm recently.

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