The Government of Tamil Nadu has announced its plans to launch a Tamil Nadu Cotton Cultivation Mission, to increase the cultivation of cotton crop to 6 lakh acres in the next five years with an initial outlay of Rs.50 crore to meet the demand for cotton in TN, as the production of cotton within the State is inadequate. This mission would focus on higher productivity and production.
It is proposed to bring at least 3.70 lakh acres under cotton crop by 2014-2015, and ultimately increase it to cover six lakh acres in the next five years through this Mission. Cotton is at present cultivated in the State in 3.34 lakh acres, with a production of four lakh bales. There are 1,948 spinning mills in the State requiring 110 lakh bales of cotton per year.
Funds under the Cotton Technology Mission of the Government of India would also be dovetailed with the State Mission.
The government would continue its efforts to improve on-farm productivity and farmersâ€™ income, the Finance Minister said towards this objective, various sub-projects would be taken up under the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP), at a cost of Rs.323 crore during 2014-2015.
During 2014-2015, the crop loan target for cooperatives would be enhanced to an unprecedented level of Rs.5,000 crore. This government has sanctioned full-interest subvention support to make the crop loan free of interest to farmers who repay it in time. An amount of Rs.200 crore has been provided as interest subvention.
The Minister said during 2013-14, Rs.3,948 crore had been disbursed as crop loan by the cooperatives till date, as against the target of Rs.4,500 crore, thus benefiting 8.9 lakh farmers.
The Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) has welcomed the announcement stating that the Mission would go a long way in reaching self-sufficiency in cotton production.
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