It is a policy decision of the Centre, says Collector
SALEM: The Centre has asked the Horticulture Department not to encourage the cultivation of arecanut, a horticulture official said. At the farmers' grievances day meeting here on Friday, the Assistant Director of Horticulture G. Venkatraman said the Centre had sent a letter to the department a year ago asking the horticulture officials not to encourage the arecanut cultivation.
He was responding to the demands of the farmers regarding the establishment of a nursery for arecanut and providing training for farmers on arecanut cultivation. "If farmers in the district still wanted to cultivate arecanut, arrangements would be made to provide seedlings of local varieties of arecanut," he said.
When farmers demanded a reason for not encouraging the cultivation of arecanut, Collector N. Mathivanan, who presided over the meeting, said it was a policy decision of the Centre.
Earlier, farmers demanded the State Government to take efforts to implement precision farming in Salem district.
They demanded that steps should be taken to cultivate tapioca under the precision farming method.
"The precision farming would improve the yield of the crop. The yield of the tapioca crop had fallen drastically due to diseases," they said and asked the district administration to take necessary steps.
Officials from the Tapioca and Castor Research Station in Ethapur said plans were being prepared for the cultivation of tapioca crop under precision farming method.
President of Farmer's Club Ammampalayam, S. Govindarajan stressed that steps should be taken to include tapioca in the National Horticulture Mission.
He also pointed out the necessity for the development of disease resistant variety of tapioca crop.
Aanaigounder, a farmer, demanded the district officials to establish a wholesale vegetable market. Farmers complained that the entry fee collected from the farmers in the vegetable market near Ananda Bridge was high and asked the officials to regulate the collection of entry fee. Many farmers in the meeting demanded the district administration to acknowledge the receipt of petitions during the meeting.
The Collector said farmers should try to solve issues such as removing the shrubs that were encroaching the roads in their villages. People should not expect the government to solve all the trivial problems, he said.
Issues regarding the removal of encroachments on the water bodies and crop loans were also discussed during the meeting. Officials from various departments were present.