With operational cost of farming going up phenomenally every year, agriculture scientists should find high-yielding crops giving more profit to the growers and boosting agricultural production, Minister for Agriculture M.R.K. Panneerselvam has said.
Addressing a meeting at Killikulam Agricultural College and Research Institute on Friday to review agriculture development schemes being implemented in five southern districts, he said the State government, which was working on increasing cultivation area and consequently farm production by introducing modern technologies, was giving farm implements to the growers and imparting training on using them.
Officials attached to the Department of Agriculture and scientists of agriculture institutes should convene village-level meetings at least once in 15 days to understand the problems of the farmers and provide a right solution to them. He asked the Secretary, Department of Agriculture, to fix the target for organising a minimum number of village-level meetings by officials and scientists every month.
“If we can understand the problems of the planters, based on suggestions from the farmers, we can prepare new high-yielding, disease-resistant crops to ensure decent profit to the farmers. If we can introduce high-yielding and disease-resistant paddy, sugarcane, black gram and cotton varieties that consume less water and inputs in relatively small quantity, it will phenomenally increase the agricultural production,” he said.
He said Tamil Nadu, which stood third in the country in cotton production, had fallen to 5 th spot and the farmers were forced to buy cotton seeds from north Indian States. Like cotton, the agriculture research institutes of Tamil Nadu should invent high-yielding grams, millets, oilseeds, maize and vegetable varieties.
Mr. Panneerselvam said cotton and chilli varieties that could be grown in saline soil conditions of Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram districts should be invented.
He exhorted the scientists to synthesize environment friendly technologies to destroy weeds.
Secretary, Department of Agriculture, C. Samayamoorthy said the special session for interaction between the farmers and the scientists was organised as part of today’s event with the objective of scientists understanding the problems being encountered by the growers so that they could provide them the most appropriate solution instantly.
Ministers Anita R. Radhakrishnan and P. Geetha Jeevan, MP Kanimozhi, Collector K. Senthil Raj and Mayor Jegan Periyasamy spoke.