FM asks farmers to walk a new path

Amaravathiputhur, Jun 29 | Updated: Jun 30 2008, 05:32am hrs
Expressing satisfaction over selection of eligible farmers for debt waiver scheme, finance minister P Chidambaram today asked the beneficiaries to choose a new path and focus on activities like dairy, farming, poultry and agro-based industries.

He also exhorted farmers to take up drip irrigation in view of the water scarcity in rain-fed area by taking up training to cultivate horticulture and commercial crops like lemon and mango.

The path you walked so far had been a bitter experience for you and you had suffered losses. It is necessary you choose a new path. There may be opposition when you choose a new path, but you should choose and walk in it with self- confidence, the finance minister said.

Chidambaram was laying the foundation stone for the Rural Training Centre (RTC), sponsored by the Nabard, Indian Overseas bank and Indian Bank. The finance minister said the exact quantum of farm loan waiver would be known only after the settlement of money with all beneficiaries.

He also stated that totally four crore farmers would be benefited in the country and in Tamil Nadu alone 15 lakh farmers would be benefited by the loan waiver scheme. As much as 80% of the beneficiaries would be small and marginal.

The Indian Overseas Bank chairman S A Bhatt said 82 training programmes had been given in the RTC so far, which included computer hardware, bio-fertiliser making. Training programmes had been held outside the district also.