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Panel to motivate ryots to go for alternative crops

By Our Staff Reporter

SIVAGANGA, JAN. 22 . The district administration has formed a committee to motivate farmers to adopt the alternative cropping method and also to undertake animal husbandry and its allied activities to ensure alternative employment to them in the wake of the monsoon failure, the Collector, J.Radhakrishnan, said.

Presiding over a farmers' grievance day meeting today, he said as there was a lot of scope for the development of animal husbandry, farmers should set up diary units in different parts of the district. Steps would be taken to give training at the Government Chettinad cattle farm in Karaikudi to those who wanted to set up diary units. Hence, he appealed to financial institutions to grant loans liberally to the farmers to purchase milch animals to increase their per capita income and improve their socio-economic status.

Moreover, as there was a high demand in other districts for broiler rabbits, which had medicinal value, farmers could rear them. It had been decided to give training to government officials and members of non-voluntary organisations to encourage farmers to rear broiler rabbits. The district administration would also arrange financial assistance and a marketing tie-up to those who wanted to rear broiler rabbits.

The Collector urged the farmers to cultivate medicinal plants, particularly `getropha'. The oil extracted from these plants can be used as bio-fuel, instead of paddy. They need not invest huge amount to raise these plants. Instead they could sell these plants at better prices.

As the district had a good climate for the cultivation of these plants, which required less water than paddy crops, farmers and members of self-help groups should raise getropha, the Collector said. The district administration had also drawn up a contingency plan for desilting all tanks, ooranies and supply channels in a phased manner, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

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