Micro-level planning to help boost agriculture in Tiruvallur district

Assistant Agriculture Officers will prepare plans for every village panchayat and form a message-sharing group with farmers in order to guide them about new technologies, officials said

To facilitate micro-level planning and technology transfer to farmers, and thereby increase their yield and income, the State Agriculture Department has started a Farmer-Official contact system.

As part of this scheme, the Agriculture Department has selected 10 farmers in each village panchayat who will serve as role models for the others by implementing the techniques and advice given by the agriculture officers.

There are 526 village panchayats in Tiruvallur. While paddy is cultivated on 1 lakh hectares of land in the district, pulses are grown on 12,000 hectare, oil seeds on 12,000 hectares and sugarcane on 6,000 hectares of land.

There are 60 Assistant Agriculture Officers (AAO) in the district and they are supposed to visit each village panchayat every fortnight and spend time with the farmers from 9 a.m to 5 p.m and guide them on new methods, seed-to-harvest technology, methods to prevent pest infestations and other schemes related to agriculture.

“They have to prepare a plan for the village panchayat every fortnight and prepare a booklet. They will identify 10 farmers and form a message-sharing group where the members can share their grievances. A committee comprising scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, and block-level agriculture and horticulture department officials will meet every fortnight, review the progress and plan for the next 15 days,” said R. Sambath Kumar, Joint Director, Agriculture Department, Tiruvallur.

Mr. Kumar said that earlier, planning pertaining to cultivation was done at the district level. “But each block may have different potential. The agriculture officer has to study this and help the farmer try new crops and technology too,” he added.

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