Chennai: Agriculture minister R. Duraikannu on Friday unveiled plans for increasing pulses, cotton and vegetable production, besides outlining the area of cultivation for paddy and schemes to cultivate cocoa and herbs.
Replying to the discussion on demand for grants to his ministry at the Assembly, the minister said paddy cultivation had began in 3.16 lakh acres of land, despite lack of water in the Mettur dam.
To reduce the gap between demand and supply in pulses, a new method of pulses cultivation would be undertaken in 6,327 villages in an area of 7.5 lakh acres. A mixture of new micro nutrients named ‘Adhisayam’ would be used to attain a target of 9.80 lakh metric tonnes in an area of 27.5 lakh acres, he said and announced an allocation of `84 crores for the scheme
The government has plans to raise the area of cotton production from 3.35 lakh acres to o 6.25 acres. It is also aiming to increase the yield of cotton from 493 kg per hectare to 870 kg.
To cater to the demand of rising vegetable demand, the government would help vegetable cultivation in 22,715 acres. He said the state crossed production of one crore metric tonnes of cereals for four years and the yield per acre too had been increased. In the year, 2015-2016, cereals amounting to 1.3 crore metric tonnes was produced and it is a record in the state.
This year, 41, 571 metric tonnes of paddy seeds would be distributed to 8.39 lakh farmers through 880 amma service centres, the minister said and added that the government would ensure quality fertilizers at just prices. The government had allocated Rs 152 crores for machinery planting of paddy seedlings.
The area for sugar cane had been fixed at 43,688 acres. The government would undertake organic farming in 2,100 acres and introduce the commercially beneficiary cocoa in 200 acres amid coconut groves.
Herbs like kanvali kizhangu, koorkkan, nithiya kalyani, gooseberry, manathakkali, thippili and thulasi would be produced in 731 acres and bamboo cultivation would be taken up in 288 acres, besides vegetable cultivation at 22,715 acres....