Tamil Nadu to form millet special zones

Presenting the Agriculture Budget for 2022-23 in the state Assembly on Saturday, Panneerselvam said to increase production of millet, two Millet Special Zones will be set up under the Tamil Nadu Millet Mission.

Image Courtesy: IANS

The Tamil Nadu government will form two millet special zones to encourage millet cultivation by the farmers in the state, said M.R.K.Panneerselvam, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Presenting the Agriculture Budget for 2022-23 in the state Assembly on Saturday, Panneerselvam said to increase production of millet, two Millet Special Zones will be set up under the Tamil Nadu Millet Mission.
The two zones will cover the districts of Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Vellore districts as one zone and Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Tenkasi, Ramnathapuram, Sivagangai, Theni, Trichy, Karur, DindigulAriyalurand Perambaluras the second zone.
He said millets are minuscule in appearance, but highly nutritious for strengthening the body.
To endorse this concept, the United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the “International Year of Millets,” he remarked.
He said in order to create awareness on the importance of millet nutrition “Millet Festivals” will be organised at the state and district levels.
Farmers will be encouraged with assistance for activities starting from cultivation till marketing the produce with value addition.
This scheme will be implemented with a total allocation of Rs.92 crore from Union and State Government funds.
“To promote production and consumption of millets among Self Help Groups, the state government will take steps to support 500 marginal farmers at a cost of Rs 1 crore under Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission,” Panneerselvam said.
According to him, special schemes will be implemented to popularise the cultivation of millets and pulses as an alternative to water intensive crops.
In order to minimise the impact of climate change, the government would encourage crop diversification and cultivation of millets.
In order to achieve self sufficiency in pulses production, a Special Redgram Zone will be formed comprising Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai and Salem districts.
Steps will be taken for processing, value addition and marketing the harvested pulses. This scheme will be implemented at an outlay of Rs 60 crore, during 2022-23, with Union and State Government funds, Panneerselvam said.
Tamil Nadu government will also take steps for paddy cultivation in an area of 19 lakh hectares during 2022-23, by implementing Strategic Paddy Cultivation Programme for getting higher yield with an allocation of Rs 32.48 crore under Union and State government funds.
As regards the crop insurance, Panneerselvam said a sum of Rs 2,399 crore has been allocated in 2022-23 as the state’s share of premium subsidy.
According to him, a sum of Rs 2,055 crore has been disbursed to 9.26 lakh farmers as crop insurance claims for the year 2020-21.

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