Tamil Nadu government’s second exclusive agriculture budget elicited mixed response from farmers in the state including the delta districts with most of them expressing displeasure at its silence over the poll promise of minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and sugarcane while welcoming many initiatives for the development of the ailing agriculture sector.
Tamil Nadu federation of all farmers association president PR Pandian called the agriculture budget ‘multifaceted’, saying it was aimed at increasing agriculture production and enhancing the infrastructure. However, there was no mention of MSP of about Rs 2,500 per quintal for paddy and Rs 4,000 per tonne for sugarcane promised by DMK in its poll manifesto. “The government should give assurance for the price in the coming days,” said Pandian.
Cauvery delta farmers’ welfare association president Mahadhanapuram V Rajaram appreciated the financial assistance to 200 unemployed agriculture, horticulture and agriculture engineering graduates for establishing agro clinic or agro-based activities. “Most of the schemes including the establishment of special zones for soya beans will not directly benefi t farmers, but MSP for agriculture and horticulture produce will make a difference,” said Rajaram.
Thanjavur district Cauvery farmers’ protection association secretary S Vimalanathan appreciated Tamil Nadu millet mission, sustainable cotton cultivation mission and pulse development scheme. However, their demand for constructing a memorial for organic farming crusader G Nammalvar has been ignored. Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) state secretary N Veerasekaran hailed the new schemes for promoting organic farming and plans for increasing productivity but rued the lack of schemes for marketing agriculture produce.
Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam Coimbatore district president Su Palanisamy welcomed the food parks proposed at Tindivanam, Manapparai and Theni and the boost given to palm tree products, apiculture and minor millet cultivation. However, the government has ignored the long pending demand for a coconut development board for Coimbatore. TamilNadu sugarcane farmers association state president N Palanisamy said they are disappointed that there was no mention of reopening National Cooperative Sugar Mill at Alanganallur.
Agrofood Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s S Rethinavelu said the second agri budget would improve the standard of life of all farmers. Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president N Jegatheesan said the Rs 5.37 crore allocation for flori culture was insufficient.

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