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Farm scientists urged to develop high-yielding crops

By Our Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE, DEC. 19. Agricultural scientists should develop high-yielding crops that can grow well with minimum water supply, the Agriculture Minister, K. Pandurangan, said here recently.

At a function organised by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Graduates' Association (TAGA) at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Mr. Pandurangan said such methods were essential for stepping up food production to meet the needs of the growing Indian population, and also have enough stocks of foodgrains left for export.

He said agricultural graduates who worked at the field level could educate farmers on scientific methods of farming that would bring bountiful harvests. This type of service by the graduates was vital for making optimal use of the natural resources.

Farming families that did not get a remunerative price for their produce tended to migrate from rural to urban areas, in search of a livelihood. Cooperative loans, power tariff concessions, wasteland development and water harvesting techniques had done much to improve the lot of farmers.

The Minister for Backward Classes Welfare, S.M. Veluchamy, said that at a time when farmers faced challenges from drought, shortage of water and lack of funds, agricultural graduates could use their expertise to suggest the right course of action.

The Minister for Animal Husbandry, P.V. Damodaran, said farmers should remember that they were the "backbone of the country" and stressed that they ought not to have a negative image about themselves or their profession.

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