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Can Stalin’s New Budget Transform Tamil Nadu’s Farm Economy, Boost Farmers?

The new dispensation at Tamil Nadu headed by MK Stalin has unveiled first of its kind, exclusive budget for agriculture to transform the state’s farmers. A resounding electoral win, wresting power after 10 long years,  a think tank cabinet of intellectuals, a White Paper on the abysmal state of the TN coffers (a timely disclaimer in case promises can’t be met), a budget that tries to put both revenue and deficit in perspective…. no wonder Stalin has raised expectations. This exclusive agricultural budget has a slew of schemes that could transform TN’s agriculture sector over next 10 years. If implemented, it could give the state a distinct identity. It envisages value addition for farm products, millets to be procured at better prices, incentives to sugarcane farming. The most striking aspect is the importance given to organic farming by creating a separate department for integrated push to take up organic farming. Another ambitious plan is to convert 11.75 hectares of fallow land to cultivable land, an increase from 60% to 75%. The scheme to give a solar powered pump set has been lauded. Above all, the scheme is focusing on training farmers to meet value added market demand as Agri Entrepreneurs. Clearly, Stalin’s agrarian focused approach could be the answer to what successive Tamil Nadu’s government was looking for a long time now.