Agriculture and farmers welfare minister MRK Panneerselvam on Tuesday tabled agriculture budget for the financial year 2023-24 on the second day of the assembly session. This is the third agriculture budget tabled by the DMK government. Before going to the assembly hall, the minister took the budget to the memorial of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and paid tribute to him. While tabling the budget, the minister cited poems from Tamil literature.
Important features of the budget:
1. Underground water level has increased in Tamil Nadu
2. We have made history by producing 119,97,000 metric tonnes of food grains.
3. Free electricity connections were given to 1.5 lakh farmers in the last two years.
4. It is important to grow the varieties of crops that could withstand flood and drought.
5. About 26 lakh farmers benefited from the Prime Minister’s crop insurance scheme.
6. Steps would be taken to increase yield using science technology.
7. Kalaignar’s all village integrated agriculture development scheme would be implemented in all the villages to make villages self-sufficient. The department allocates Rs 230 crore to 2504 village panchayats in the state. Under the scheme, several facilities including distribution of free pumpsets would be carried out.
8. A village agriculture development committee would be set up to share information regarding seasonal crops to the farmers.
9. A WhatsApp group would be created at block-level to share information on the latest technology in the agriculture sector to farmers.
10. Millet regions would be expanded in five districts. The government has allocated Rs 82 crore for increasing the production of millets.
11. Subsidy worth Rs 24 crore would be given for cultivation of crops after rice. Farmers would be encouraged to cultivate millets after samba paddy.
12. Rs 15 crore allocated to produce agriculture equipment to 60,000 small, marginal and landless farmers.
13. Additional subsidy of 20% would be given to Adi Dravidar and tribal small and medium farmers. Rs 10 crore was allocated to Adi Dravidar farmers and Rs 1 crore was allocated to tribal farmers.
14. An E-agriculture scheme would be launched. Cash-less transactions would be carried out through 385 block-level agriculture centres in 37 districts.
15. Rs 20 crore allocated for the promotion of coconut trees. The scheme was aimed to help Tamil Nadu grab the first position at the nation level when it comes to coconut production.
16. Rs 22 crore allocated for promotion of protected cultivation methods. Priority would be given to Dindigul, Dharmapuri, Ranipet, Salem, Sivagangai, Theni, Erode, Thirupatthur, Tirupur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli and Madurai.
17. Rs 3 crore allocated to take 150 farmers on a tour to countries including Netherland, Egypt, Thailand, Israel, Philippines and Malaysia to introduce them to other technologies.
18. Rs 50 crore allocated to integrated micro irrigation system in lower Bhavani. The system would be implemented on a pilot basis in 960 hectares of cultivable lands on a cluster basis.
19. Area of cashew cultivation would be expanded by 550 hectares, and high-yielding varieties of cashews would be replanted and renewed in 500 hectares.
20. Rs 130 crore allocated for banana cluster development scheme in Theni district in public-private partnership.
21. Rs 2 crore allocated for palmyra development mission. As a part of it, ten lakh palmyra seed buts would be provided to farmers and NGOs to plant in public places. A palmyra research institute would be set up at Killikulam agriculture college in Thoothukudi district at the cost of Rs 15 crore.
22. Rs 125 crore allocated to procure components like agricultural machinery, value additional machinery, machinery for sugarcane cultivation and village based custom hiring centres besides digitalizing the selection of beneficiaries.
23. An agricultural scientist per block. A scientist would be appointed per block to clarify all the doubts of farmers right from cultivation to selling it in the market.
24. Rs 2.5 crore allocated to enhance curry leaves cultivation in Coimbatore by 1,500 hectares in the next five years.
25. Efforts would be taken to provide 2 kg ragi to ration cardholders.