Responding to memorandums submitted by MLAs and Tamil Nadu Minister for Agriculture M R K Paneerselvam on various issues being faced by the coconut growers at a Farmers Meet organised by Coconut Development Board, Tomar said the Central government headed by Narendra Modi was aware of the problems and the Prime Minister was keen to solve them.
The minister advised the farmers to utilise various schemes initiated for their benefit by the government, as the agricultural sector played a major role in contributing to the country’s economy and GDP.
Giving details of amounts paid to the farmers under various schemes including crop insurance and national calamities, Tomar said the government was aware that these were not enough for the farming community.
On coconut cultivation, Tomar said India stood third in the coconut production in the world. Tamil Nadu topped the states in the country and Coimbatore remains first in Tamil Nadu, he added. Paneerselvam who addressed the meet said the State government was ready to procure copra from growers for the entire year, provided the Centre gave the nod for it, as the state was procuring copra only once in a year. On demands from the growers and AIADMK MLAs Pollachi V Jayaraman and Amman K Arjunan to take steps to promote coconut oil and make it main edible oil in the state, the minister said he would take up the issue with Chief Minister M K Stalin and steps will be taken to supply coconut oil through ration shops.
Tamil Nadu has presented a separate budget for agriculture sector and the Chief Minister is keen to support the cause of farmers, he said.