CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday sought to give a leg-up to the farm sector by announcing ‘Amma Seeds’, which would be supplied to farmers at subsidised rates. The project to supply quality seeds at a cost of Rs 156.74 crore is among a slew of projects announced in the State Assembly for agricultural sector.
The ‘Amma Seeds’ would be sold to farmers through the chain of ‘Amma Service Centres’, The CM announced. “The scheme is aimed at promoting the use of certified and good quality seeds by farmers. It will bring together seed farms, seed production facilities and farmers, to deliver benefit,” she said.
The CM also announced that three new agricultural colleges, affiliated to the TN Agricultural University, would be set up at Kudimiyanmalai in Pudukottai district, Eechankottai in Thanjavur district and Vazhvachanur in Tiruvannamalai district, at a total cost of Rs 150 crore.
Another major project she announced was the setting up of farm machinery rental and repair centres in 385 blocks of the State. The Rs 126 crore project is aimed at mitigating the farm labour crunch by promoting mechanisation. The centres would join existing ones in giving out farm machinery on rent, and also repair the farm machinery owned by farmers.
Other announcements included the establishment of 10 model processing factories for horticultural products at a cost of Rs 25 crore, systematic promotion of red gram (thuvarai) cultivation at a cost of Rs 55.15 crore, 10 model villages to promote eco-friendly and sustainable agriculture, 150 eco-friendly integrated pest management villages, an organic farming research complex at the TN Agricultural University, seven new liquid fertiliser production facilities and a project to provide 50 percent subsidy for the purchase of solar-powered dryers for farm produce processing.
The CM also announced a number of projects aimed at skill development among the agricultural community, such as the ‘Amma Women’s Farm Skill Development Programme’ to train 770 women at a cost of Rs 113.6 crore, setting up of agricultural skill development centres at a cost of Rs 20 crore with the aim of training 10,000 rural youth over the next 10 years and setting up of six research centres, each focussing on specific areas.
The announcements were made under Rule 110, which permits a statement without discussion.