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Government Agriculture Schemes

Five clusters under dry land agriculture scheme

In order to bring more areas under rainfed crops and also to increase the productivity of rain fed crops by adopting modern agronomic interventions, the Agricultural Department has formed five clusters in different parts of the district to take up dry land farming.

Each cluster will have 1,000 hectares of dry land. A total of 5,900 farmers have joined in the initiative under the Mission on Sustainable Dry Land Agriculture (MSDA). New clusters have come up at Erumapatti in Thottiam block, Sikkamthambur in Thuraiyur block, Vaalavandhi in Thathaiyengarpettai block, V. Periapatti in Vaiyampatti block and Thottiyapatti in Marungapuri block.

To implement the project, a district-level committee headed by the Collector has been formed. Joint Director of Agriculture (JDA) will be coordinator. Joint Registrar of Cooperatives, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, district heads of Horticulture, Agricultural Engineering and Marketing and senior scientist of Kirishi Vikas Kendra (KVK) will be committee members.

“Priority has been given to the areas, which have no assured or river water irrigation, over the selection of clusters. By joining the clusters, farmers will get maximum benefits under various schemes of the Central and State governments,” said K. Rajamani, Collector, Tiruchi district.

Several clubs, 20 members each, have been formed in the district. Depending upon the requirements, the members will be supplied micro nutrients, fertilizers, certified seeds and others at the maximum subsidy.

Creation of rainwater structures, farm ponds, deepening of wells, desilting inlet and outlet channels are among the proposed initiatives. Subsidy would be given to farmers even for ploughing their fields.

In Marungapuri block, a check dam has been constructed at Thottiapatti village. Similarly, check dams have been constructed in all other four blocks. Farmers will be motivated to grow all drought resistant crops like cholam, cumbu, maize, millets and vegetables, flowers and fruits. The scheme will be in force for four years duration.

According to Mr. Rajamani, formation of farmer producer companies will also be promoted in the scheme. The Vaiyampatti block cluster has already floated the company. It was sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh for setting up a animal feed production unit under the value addition machinery with 75% subsidy. The group will utilise farm produce such as grains of millets and groundnut oilcake to produce animal feed. It will give assured market for cumbu, cholam and other millets. The unit will also produce coconut oil and oil cake.