The Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department will set up special markets at five places - Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, and Salem - to display branded products of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), a statement said on Sunday.
According to the statement from the office of state Agriculture Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam, an amount of Rs 8 crore has been earmarked for setting up these markets.
The department would also train farmers to become traders, with five members of each FPO to be selected for this.
According to a study conducted by it, around 1.6 lakh farmers would benefit from such a move and Rs 2.2 crore has been allocated for these training programmes.
A two-year diploma programme in agriculture engineering would also be launched at the Agriculture Engineering College and Research Institute in Kumlur, Trichy.
The statement said that 40 students would be admitted to this course and its main idea is to provide employment to students from rural backgrounds. The farmers would be benefitted as students of this course would be equipped to repair agricultural instruments and tools.
The ministry has also proposed to open agriculture colleges in Karur district, Kilvelur in Nagapattinam district, and Chettinadu in Sivaganga district. An amount of Rs 30 crore is allocated for the three colleges to commence classes from the 2021-22 financial year.
A Rs 12 crore micro-irrigation project which would benefit Adi Dravidar and Tribal farmers in Kancheepuram, Virudhanagar, Ramanathapuram, Theni, Pudukottai, Kancheepuram, Ariyalur, Krishnagiri and Chengalpettu areas was also announced.
Talking to IANS, Panneerselvam said: "The Tamil Nadu government under Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is bringing up major changes in agriculture sector and this will benefit the farmers of the state. We are opening three new agriculture colleges as well as we are into promoting FPOs. Our aim is the total development of the farming community of Tamil Nadu and we are striving hard for that."