CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government today announced promoting hybrid vegetable cultivation in the state as part of its efforts to benefit farmers in the light of the prevailing drought.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami said cultivation of hybrid varieties of vegetables such as tomato and brinjal would be taken up on 11,250 acres in 22 districts.
This effort was aimed at utilising lesser quantities of water, but give higher yield, he informed the state Assembly.
Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, he said a sum of Rs nine crore would be allotted for this initiative.
Seeds and saplings required for this purpose would be distributed to farmers at a 50 per cent subsidy upto Rs 8,000 per acre, he said, adding, 2,250 ryots would benefit from the government move.
Further, the government would provide solar-powered pump sets for 1000 farmers this year, with a 90 per cent subsidy.
Since 2012, 2,826 such pump sets have been installed in different parts of the state at an overall subsidy of Rs 102 crore, he said.
Among others, the Chief Minister proposed setting up 597 "Pack Houses" to store and sift horticulture produce.
A total of Rs 11.94 crore was being allotted for this purpose,he said. Palaniswami also announced that a Centre of Excellence for Bio-Technology would be established at the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University in Coimbatore.