Under the mission, one lakh palm seeds will be planted on the bunds of lakes and ponds, on either side of the roads and in farmlands. During the launch of the mission, Speaker M Appavu as promised in the House donated one lakh palm seeds to the state in the presence of the Chief Minister.
Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam, in the first ever separate budget for agriculture, announced a new mission aimed at increasing the palm trees in the state. Under the scheme, 76 lakh palm seeds and one lakh palm saplings would be distributed to farmers with cent per cent subsidy by the Agriculture Department and Rs 3 crore has been allotted for the initiative.
When Panneerselvam made the announcement in the Assembly, the Speaker intervened and said that he hailed from Radhapuram constituency in which palm trees were abundant and assured that he would donate 1 lakh palm seeds for the department which could be distributed to farmers free of cost.
As part of the mission, research on palm trees will be undertaken in govt agriculture college in Killukulam in Thoothukudi district and subsidy will be provided to farmers for procuring machines to make palm jaggery.
The state will also take steps to distribute palm jaggery through fair price shops in coordination with palm development board and agricultural cooperative societies.