Agri programme to cover 1,997 villages: Stalin

Chennai : Chief Minister MK Stalin has launched the ‘Kalaignarin All Villages Integrated Agricultural Development Programme’ that proposes overall agriculture development in all the 15,525 village panchayats through a convergence of Union and State government schemes and externally-aided projects in five years. In the current year, the programme will cover 1,997 village panchayats at a cost of Rs 227.06 crore and benefit over nine lakh agricultural families.

Under the initiative, borewells will be erected in fallow land clusters; farm ponds established; channels, tanks, and ooranies desilted; 11.916 lakh coconut seedlings distributed; pulse seeds distributed for bund cropping; 19,970 sprayers, 2.5 lakh home garden kits, incentive of Rs 5,000 for vegetable cultivation distributed; fruit seedlings and tree saplings provided; micro-irrigation facilities installed for farmers from Adi Dravida community and inlet channels and ponds, etc will be desilted.

The programme aims to bring 11.75 lakh hectares of land under net area cultivated in the next 10 years, increase the double-cropping area to 20 lakh hectares, and make Tamil Nadu among the top three States in production of foodgrains, coconut, cotton, sunflower, and groundnut.

After explaining the salient features of the programme on the occasion, the CM handed over work orders for establishing borewells to members of farmer groups in fallow land clusters, incentives for cultivating horticultural crops, and orders for establishing Agri clinics, etc to the beneficiaries. Stalin also announced that he will open the Mettur dam on Tuesday.