"Education and Agriculture are the two eyes for development for any state or nation. Transforming Tamil Nadu into an oasis full of agriculture is the goal of the government" said Minister for Urban Development and Agriculture R Vaithilingam. Calling agriculture the backbone of the country’s economy the minister said the state government had taken many initiatives to continue promoting agriculture as an occupation.
The minister was speaking at the 45th Foundation Day and Open and Distance Learning Graduation Day celebrations of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) on Wednesday.
He highlighted many initiatives by the government to encourage farmers. "5,500 crore allocated to issue interest free loans to farmers, we distribute inputs like bio-fertilisers and have raised the height of the Mullaiperiyar dam to 148 ft," he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, minister for municipal administration and rural development, SP Velumani, highlighted a few agricultural development programmes introduced by the government.
"We introduced 100 percent subsidised drip irrigation for small and marginal farmers and 75 percent subsidy for other farmers. The one acre land ceiling was removed, farmers in drought prone delta region were allotted 27 crores to procure fertilisers to ensure increased production," he said.
"TANFED gave 580 crore interest free loans to establish four agriculture colleges, The Horticultural College for Women in Trichy and three new Agricultural Colleges in Pudukottai, Thanjavur and Thiruvannamalai, for catering to the needs of farming community development," he added.