Chennai, Sep 25 (UNI) Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder-leader S Ramadoss today said agriculture should be made a compulsory subject in schools.
Talking to reporters after releasing the Agriculture Development Policy of his party, he said about 80 per cent of the population in the State were earning directly or indirectly from agriculture. The Government should ensure that necessary steps were taken for its growth, he added.
Dr Ramadoss alleged that the Land Ceiling Act was grossly violated in Tamil Nadu with the full support of the Government and said there should be a separate budget for agriculture, both in the Centre and the State.
Claiming that the size of agricultural land in the State was decreasing, he said agriculture should be accorded industrial status.
''For this, a separate policy is needed. The Government and banks are interested in giving loans to entrepreneurs without any security to set up industries. But, farmers have to pledge their ancestral properties to secure a farm loan,'' he rued.
In this context, Dr Ramadoss said amendments should be brought in to stop financial institutions from seizing ancestral properties from farmers for non-payment of loans.
Alleging that a new zamindari system had been implemented in the State in the name of industrial growth, he said farm lands were being seized from farmers to set up SEZs, IT parks and housing complexes with the support of the State.
This situation should change, he said, urging the Government to ensure that farmers get income on par with that of its employees.