Agriculture provides adequate opportunities with good returns and youths should be sensitised to water-saving irrigation strategy, latest farm technology, export-based avenues and post-harvest treatment as part of value-addition for transforming agriculture into a successful entrepreneurship, said speakers at the inaugural of the two-day workshop organised by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women, Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, here on Saturday.
Inaugurating the workshop, Collector K.S. Palanisamy said agriculture has assumed a new trend with growing awareness among the masses of the need for consuming healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. He appealed to young agricultural scientists to ensure value addition in products.
He urged farmers to utilise various subsidy-based schemes such as drip irrigation, which would go a long way in minimising water.
M. Rajendran, Director of Agriculture, said although total cultivable area was on the decline, schemes were being implemented to sustain productivity.
As many as 2,500 solar units and 70,000 farm ponds had been set up in the State last financial year enabling higher productivity. He exhorted agriculturists to ascertain marketing avenues and processing techniques to earn more returns.
K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, underlined the importance of integrated farming as a key to achieving sustained growth in agriculture.
M.M. Mustaffa, Director of National Research Centre for Banana, said post-harvest techniques suggested by NRCB had gone down well in minimising the waste from 30 per cent to 10 per cent in the recent few years. It had encouraged 1,500 entrepreneurs, most of them youths, to take to banana-allied business in the last five years.
M. Jawaharlal, Special Officer, Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women, and Ajay K. Parida, Executive Director of the Foundation, spoke on the objective of the workshop, which was the third in the series.
The recommendations of the delegates would be taken to the notice of the policy makers at the State and national levels, they said.