Agri Business

Farming in TN set to emerge strong via proactive steps

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 02, 2021

Panellists take part in BusinessLine’s webinar on “Rejuvenating Tamil Nadu’s Farm Sector”

With an exclusive agriculture budget and other proactive steps, Tamil Nadu’s agriculture will achieve greater heights and the State will emerge stronger in many areas going forward, said GR Chintala, Chairman, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).

“With the steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government through a separate farm budget and proactive mindset shown by the various players in the State, Tamil Nadu’s agriculture will be better than what it used to be in the past. The State will emerge as a real forerunner in agro-processing and in creating value to every stakeholder in the agri chain, he said addressing BusinessLine’s webinar on “Rejuvenating Tamil Nadu’s Farm Sector.”

He said Tamil Nadu has been one of the major beneficiaries of NABARD funding.

C Samayamoorthy, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu

NABARD’s total refinance and direct finance to States stood at ₹14,000 crore in FY20. But in FY21, it increased to ₹27,000 crore and for the current fiscal we have to go up to ₹40,000 crore, of which ₹10,000 crore will be for the State government to create infrastructure and remaining ₹30,000 crore is for the banking system under which loans will flow seamlessly to the farmers, he said.

Though the exclusive farm budget has addressed key issues, the State could also focus on soil health, watershed development, afforestation and climate change issues. “The efforts to convert fallow lands for cultivation is a right step,” he said adding, “Tamil Nadu is the biggest beneficiary of micro irrigation fund, under which the state has been extended ₹1,300 crore by NABARD to achieve better productivity and water efficiency.

“Also, the State has been given funds to the tune of ₹7,000 crore by NABARD for the revival of some of the irrigation structures from NABARD. Once these structures are revived or redesigned, the retaining capacity and distribution efficiency in the water segment will be better, thereby covering more areas of farm lands,” he stated.

Addressing key segments

C Samayamoorthy, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, said the exclusive budget sought to address all key segments of agri and allied sectors with a core objective of boosting productivity and farmers’ income.

Since the average age of farmers in the State is 50-plus, the State government was working to make farming an attractive proposition for the younger generation, supported by upgrading the curriculum with focus on entrepreneurship so that agriculture graduates are motivated to enter business rather than relying on government jobs.

Millet mission and the state’s cluster approach especially for organic farming and micro irrigation areas were important steps. In organic farming, this approach is to ensure that there is no spread of pesticides in that area in order to be real organic ones. “Emphasis on farm mechanisation and value addition for farm products are also key focus areas,” he added.

Published on September 02, 2021

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