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The Tamil Nadu government will provide ₹14,000 crore in crop loans to farmers through co-operative societies in 2023-24, besides ₹1,500 crore for goat-rearing, dairy and poultry farming and fisheries, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam said on Tuesday.

The Minister, who presented the Agriculture Budget in the Assembly, announced the allocation of ₹500 crore to provide an incentive of ₹100 and ₹75 per quintal of fine and bold paddy varieties, respectively. Despite a tough financial situation, the government had been implementing the crop insurance scheme and, in the coming year, ₹2,337 crore will be spent on the State’s share of the premium subsidy, he said.

Mr. Panneerselvam said that during the 2022-23 kharif marketing season, 27.23 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was procured from 3.73 lakh farmers, and ₹5,778 crore had been disbursed so far.

The government will allocate ₹253 crore to provide a special incentive of ₹195, over and above the fair and remunerative price of ₹2,821 per tonne of sugar cane, announced by the Union government in 2022-23.

Another announcement was the allocation of ₹500 crore, with the assistance of Nabard, for the purchase of agricultural machinery through the Primary Agricultural Co-operative Credit Societies. The machines will be made available in every village, and hired out to farmers through the e-Vaadagai app.

Recalling the announcement in the previous Budget on the declaration of areas between Tiruchi and Nagapattinam as the Agro Industrial Corridor, the Minister said a detailed report had been prepared to establish the corridor, which will help to enhance the income of farmers and create jobs.

Mr. Panneerselvam said the Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission will open a regional startup hub in Thanjavur to promote agro-technological innovations in the Cauvery delta region. “Through the Agro Industrial Corridor, projects in sectors allied to agriculture will be implemented at a cost of ₹1,000 crore in the next five years,” he added.

Source : The Hindu March

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