CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu is working on a proposal to convert 15 per cent cultivable area in the state into agriculture corridor, according to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University vice-chancellor and member (agriculture and irrigation) State Planning Commission of the state, K Ramasamy.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of a silver jubilee symposium on ‘Enhancing and Sustaining Agriculture Productivity for Food and Nutrition Security’, Ramasamy said the plan to have such corridor is to earn foreign exchange by exporting fruits and vegetables.
He said the proposal has identified the southern Tamil Nadu belt besides Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri corridor and other areas and convert them into agriculture corridor.
This also comes in the wake of Union government allocating Rs 2,000 crore for food processing sector to set up mega food parks, which aims at providing modern infrastructure facilities for food processing industries along the value chain from farm to market.
Ramasamy also highlighted that the state foodgrain production shot up in the last three years despite failure of monsoon. “This is mainly due to timely supply of seeds besides sowing drought resistant varieties,” he said.
He also hit out at policy makers for going in for massive urbanization. Currently, the percentage of urban poor in cities is 60 per cent when compared to 19 per cent in rural area. “If we remove everyone from rural area, then the urban poverty rate would increase further,” said Ramasamy.
He also stated that the state has 81.9 lakh land owners and of which 92 per cent have small lands worth 1.28 acres. “The irony is most of mechanized technology including tractors for irrigation is developed for land holding worth 100 acres as such the Indian farmers never benefit from it,” said Ramasamy.