TN agriculture budget focus on production of oil seeds, pulses & planting neem trees

Chennai, Feb 20 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam — while presenting the agriculture budget for the financial year 2024-25 — has given a high boost to the production of oilseeds and pulses.

The minister said that a total of 10 lakh neem tree saplings will be distributed to farmers for free

Panneerselvam said that while strides had been made in paddy cultivation, there was still a shortfall in meeting the demand for pulses and oilseeds.

He said that the total allocation for schemes to expand the area under cultivation of pulses and oilseeds is Rs 108 crore.

He stressed upon the importance of neem and said that azadirachtin, an active ingredient found in neem-based products, had proved to be an excellent pesticide without causing harm to the environment.

“As neem leaves are good green manure, the government will promote the cultivation of neem trees,” he said.

He said that the recent Russia-Ukraine war had brought to the fore the need for self-sustainability in food grain production.

He said that even though Tamil Nadu required 18.45 lakh tonnes of edible oil annually, the area under oilseed cultivation was yielding only 4.85 lakh tonnes.

He also announced a pulses development scheme in an area of 4.75 lakh acres in 2024-25 and added that of the Rs 40.27 crore for the scheme, outlay will come from both Central and state government funds.

He said that to increase the area under cultivation and productivity of gingelly in districts declared as under the ‘Oilseed Zone’, Rs 3crore would be earmarked to provide subsidies for inputs and harvesting charges for 25,000 acres.

He added that additionally Rs 2 crore would be allocated to increase the sunflower cultivated area to 12,500 acres, and the cultivation of high-yielding castor hybrids would be promoted in an area of 1,500 acres at an outlay of Rs 18 lakh.

The minister also announced Rs 48 crore scheme to incentivise Enhanced Crop Productivity.

“Crop productivity is projected to increase by 15 per cent through the use of quality seeds, which are essential to achieve higher yields,” the minister said.



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