Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday made announcements in the Assembly to boost the agriculture and horticulture sectors in the State.
In suo motu statements in the House, Mr. Palaniswami said loans to the tune of ₹266 crore will be granted through NABKISAN Finance Ltd., a subsidiary of NABARD, for the benefit of farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
Infrastructure will be created in 90 regulated markets and 100 Uzhavar Sandhais (farmers’ markets) at a cost of ₹268 crore. Seed processing units will be set up in 20 FPOs at a cost of ₹12 crore. A value-addition unit for coconuts will be set up in Kanniyakumari at a cost of ₹16 crore, the CM said.
A sum of ₹100 crore will be spent on creating solar-powered cold storage and allied facilities to store farm produce in Madurai, Salem, Erode, Thoothukudi and Kancheepuram districts. Water management systems were being provided with subsidies, and in continuation of the scheme, ₹116.29 crore will be spent as subsidies for these systems, he said.
A supply chain management system will be implemented to handle fruits, vegetables and perishables. It will be implemented in Salem, Erode, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Tiruvannamalai districts at a total cost of ₹100 crore, Mr. Palaniswami said.
Land development and minor irrigation machinery will be purchased at a cost of ₹70.30 crore for the benefit of needy farmers. A total of 243 village-level farm equipment hiring centres will be set up at a cost of ₹19.44 crore. For the benefit of farmers with rain-fed produce, 150 value-addition centres will be set up at ₹15 crore, he added.
A horticulture park spread over 5.5 acres will be set up at Washermenpet in Chennai at a cost of ₹5 crore. Various awareness and promotional events will be organised by the Agriculture Department at a cost of ₹13.20 crore, the CM said.
In a bid to boost palm plantations in rain-fed and coastal areas, the State government will provide 2.5 crore palm seeds to farmers through the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments at a total cost of ₹10 crore.
Hike in DA
The government will also set up 100-seed godowns, attached to sub-agricultural extension centres, at a cost of ₹40 crore this year, Mr. Palaniswami said.
The Chief Minister also announced a 10% hike in the dearness allowance to members of the handloom weavers’ cooperative societies. The announcement will benefit over 2 lakh members of the 1,137 such societies in the State, and will cost the exchequer ₹14 crore annually.
Mr. Palaniswami announced that the interest subsidy granted to the primary weavers’ cooperative societies will be hiked from 4% to 6%, costing the exchequer ₹21.60 crore annually. A total of 1,000 temples in rural areas under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department will be renovated at a cost of ₹10 crore. Another 1,000 temples not under the control of the HR&CE Department and located near Adi Dravidar and tribal settlements will also be renovated at a cost of ₹10 crore, the Chief Minister said.