Agriculture Minister S Damodaran on Thursday joined issue with MDMK general secretary Vaiko who levelled allegations about the relief provided to farmers affected by drought.
In a statement, the minister said Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, after assuming office in May 2011, initiated many pro-active steps to increase foodgrain production in the State using modern techniques. As a result, during 2011-12, TN recorded foodgrain production to the tune of 101.52 lakh tonnes and the Centre presented the Krishi Karman Award to the State for the achievement. As such, Vaiko’s charge that agriculture had become a failure in the State cannot be accepted, the minister said.
On the allegation that only a section of farmers affected by drought had received the relief, he said 3,52,613 farmers in delta districts who had lost more than 50 per cent of crop, received a whopping relief of Rs 524.25 crore. In non-delta districts, 16.03 lakh farmers received `756.22 crore as relief.