COIMBATORE: The Farmers' Association on Monday petitioned the district collector, T N Hariharan, not to allow the merger of Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI) with the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow.
Pointing out that Coimbatore and neighbouring districts were known for sugarcane cultivation, Farmers' Association president S Palanisami lamented that "at a time when the total acreage of sugarcane cultivation had come down and farmers in the region were struggling, the central government was looking at merging the Sugarcane Breeding Institute".
The 105-year-old institute is a pioneer in sugarcane research, Palanisami said. "More than 3,000 research works are carried out by the institute. Its innovation, sugarcane variety number 205 is known for great yield. This variety is famous across the globe," he added.
Last week, MDMK leader Vaiko had issued a statement against the central government's move to merge the Sugarcane Breeding Institute with the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow.
This is the second instance of attempt to merge a central government organisation in the city. The Centre had earlier unveiled the pans to merge the Government of India Printing Press at Press Colony and shift it to Nagpur. This had drawn flak from some political parties and labour union.
"The state government should intervene in the matter and not let go of an institute that has more than a century's history. The present government is unable to take steps towards preserving such important institutions. Had the former chief minister J Jayalalithaa been alive, she would have not let this happen," Palanisami said.