In line with its poll promise, the DMK government on Saturday presented a budget specifically for agriculture in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which includes plans for holistic development of the agriculture sector, including a scheme for self-reliance in villages and agricultural development. .
Presenting the budget, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister MRK Panneerselvam said that the opinion of farmers and experts has been sought and the budget has been prepared on the basis of their views.
“Agriculture budget is the aspiration of farmers. It is the dream of nature lovers.” For the first time in Tamil Nadu, a separate budget for agriculture has been presented.
He said that Rs 34,220.65 crore is provided for agriculture and allied departments like animal husbandry, fisheries, dairy development, irrigation, rural development, sericulture and forestry during 2021-22.
He said the state-run power unit, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, has been allocated Rs 4,508.23 crore for providing free power to farm pump sets.
In order to bring prosperity to the farmers and farm laborers in the Cauvery delta region, “it is proposed to declare the region as agro-industrial corridor,” to promote agro-based industries, he said.
The previous AIADMK government had declared the Cauvery delta region as a protected agricultural area.
The minister said that in areas like Thanjavur, rice, pulses, banana, coconut are produced throughout the year.
He said that if rice and oil mills, coir units and pulses processing units (which use the agricultural products of the region for production of value-added products) are promoted, it will help the farmers and agricultural workers of the delta region. Will contribute greatly to welfare, he said.
Panneerselvam said that a scheme with a total outlay of Rs 1,245.45 crore will be implemented in all villages of Tamil Nadu to ensure holistic agricultural development and self-sufficiency.
He said that the scheme in the name of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (Kalaignarin Anathu Village Orungintha Velan Valarchi Thittam) would be implemented in 2,500 gram panchayats in the current year (2021-22).
Of the 12,524 gram panchayats in Tamil Nadu, each year, one-fifth of them will be identified and the scheme will be implemented in all panchayat areas over five years.
The objectives of the scheme include cultivating fallow land, augmenting water resources, installation of solar powered pump sets, marketing of value-added agricultural products, adoption of micro-irrigation and increasing milk production.
He said that the Chief Minister’s Dry Land Development Mission would be implemented in three lakh hectares with an aim to increase the income of the farmers (on the basis of rainfed farming).
To promote organic farming, “Jivik Krishi Vikas Yojana” will be implemented at a cost of Rs 33.03 crore.
He said that the inputs for organic farming would be made available in Krishi Extension Centers and the farms would be certified as organic among the many measures proposed under the scheme.