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Tamil Nadu Launches Agriculture Budget 2024-25, Prioritizing Sustainability and Rural Development

Tamil Nadu Agriculture Budget 2024-25 represents a holistic approach towards transforming the agricultural landscape.

Saurabh Shukla
Tamil Nadu Presented Ambitious Agriculture Budget 2024-25: Prioritizing Sustainability and Rural Development (Photo Source: @CMOTamilnadu)
Tamil Nadu Presented Ambitious Agriculture Budget 2024-25: Prioritizing Sustainability and Rural Development (Photo Source: @CMOTamilnadu)

Tamil Nadu Minister MRK Panneerselvam presented the state's agriculture budget for the fiscal year 2024–25 in a historic gesture intended to support agriculture, improve rural livelihoods, and promote sustainable farming techniques. The comprehensive budget, presented separately in the state assembly, reflects a strategic vision to revitalize the agricultural sector while addressing contemporary challenges such as climate change and health concerns.

Empowering Traditional Farming Practices

One of the highlights of the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Budget 2024 is the emphasis on preserving traditional agricultural heritage. Recognizing the significance of indigenous crops in promoting food security and health, the budget allocates resources for seed distribution to encourage the cultivation of traditional paddy varieties known for their potential in combating ailments like diabetes.

Boosting Millet Cultivation and Sustainable Practices

Panneerselvam announced a substantial allocation of ₹65.30 crore for millet cultivation, underscoring the state's commitment to diversifying crops and promoting nutritionally rich alternatives. The budget prioritizes sustainable farming practices by advocating for reduced dependency on chemical fertilizers in paddy cultivation, thus promoting eco-friendly agricultural methods.

Initiatives for Rural Prosperity

The 'One Village, One Crop' scheme, a flagship initiative introduced in the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Budget 2024, aims to enhance agricultural productivity and rural prosperity by fostering focused cultivation practices at the village level. Additionally, measures have been proposed to nurture villages and equip them to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.

Investments in Infrastructure and Technology

The budget outlines plan to enhance agricultural infrastructure and access to modern farming technologies. Key initiatives include the establishment of a new horticulture farm in Tenkasi district, the allocation of funds for setting up a private agricultural machinery rental center, and the introduction of the 'Chief Minister’s Mannuyir Kaathu Mannuyir Kaappom Scheme' aimed at comprehensive rural development.

Financial Overview and Revenue Deficit

Amidst these ambitious plans, the budget addresses financial realities, acknowledging a significant revenue deficit estimated at over ₹49,000 crore. However, strategic allocations and revenue-generating schemes are poised to mitigate these challenges, reflecting the government's determination to achieve the "7 grand Tamil dream" encompassing social justice and women's welfare.

Key Allocations and Initiatives

The budget allocates substantial funds towards various agricultural initiatives, including:

  • Promotion of cold-region crops such as pears and plums

  • Setting up of a saffron seedling production center

  • Allocation of Rs 773 crore in expansion of micro-irrigation projects

  • Promotion of cashew, chilli, and sugarcane cultivation

  • Introduction of new varieties of roses and integrated horticulture crops

  • Support for agroforestry and soil remediation projects

  • Incentives for sugarcane farmers and promotion of cotton cultivation

  • Empowering Farmers and Ensuring Food Security

In line with efforts to empower farmers, the budget includes provisions for training in pest management, soil testing, and distribution of neem saplings. Additionally, subsidies and incentives for alternative crop cultivation underscore the government's commitment to fostering agricultural diversification and resilience.

Crop Diversification and Agroforestry

The budget includes subsidies to support the cultivation of crops like oilseeds, chilies, and cashews in an effort to increase agricultural diversity and resilience. Special attention is given to promoting agroforestry through initiatives like the Agroforestry Scheme and the distribution of neem saplings to combat pest infestations.

Incentivizing Farmer Entrepreneurship

The budget incentivizes farmer entrepreneurship and innovation through various schemes, including interest subsidies on practical investment loans for livestock and fish farmers, and financial support for agricultural graduates venturing into entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the allocation of funds for recognizing exemplary farmers underscores the government's commitment to acknowledging and rewarding agricultural excellence.

By prioritizing sustainability, rural development, and social welfare, the government aims to aide in a new era of prosperity for farmers and rural communities while laying the foundation for a resilient and inclusive agricultural sector. With strategic investments and progressive policies, Tamil Nadu is set to emerge as a pioneer in agricultural innovation and resilience.

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