TN Govt to raise food prod through agri mechanism

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Pudukkottai, Jun 11: The Tamil Nadu Government is planning to increase food production through agriculture mechanism facilitating optimum use of land, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugam said.

Inaugurating the five-day seminar-cum-exhibition on "Agriculture and farmers' development" organised by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency here yesterday, he said the mechanisation of farming was inevitable to tide over the problems stemming from the conversion of farmlands into housing areas and labour shortage.

As a first step, sugarcane harvesters would be brought from China to bring down the cultivation cost and the machinery, designed to suit the state's sugarcane would be imported within a month. The Department would also supply machinery for planting paddy saplings to harvesters, he added.

He said 3.20 lakh hectares in the central districts would be brought under the Rice Intensification system this year of which 83,700 hectares would be covered in Thanjavur district, 73,600 hectares (Nagapattinam), 72,400 hectares ( Tiruvarur), 26,800 hectares in Pudukottai and Tiruchirapalli each and 14,900 hectares in Perambalur.

Block-level coordination among officials of the Horticulture, Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering Department would help in efficient implementation of the projects. Elected representatives had also been sensitised to various subsidy-linked programmes.

Through these measures, the Agriculture Department intended to produce 108 lakh tonnes of grains during the current year, as against 100.88 lakh tonnes produced during 2007-08, he added.

UNI

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