TIMES OF INDIA
'Explain benefits of Jatropha, Pongamia plants'
Times News Network
July 19: The state government wants to encourage latge
scale cultivation of Jatropha and Pongamia plants for production
of bio-dielel in the state. But farmers are reportedly reluctant
to make the switch and are preferring fruit bearing trees, according
to agriculture minister N Raghuveera Reddy.
Addressing district collectors
at a video conference of Sunday, the minister asked the collectors
to motivate farmesrs. He said the district adminstration should
explain the benefits that would accure to the farmer by switching
over to bio-diesel plants as againgst horticulture.
He said Jatropha and Pongamia
plants require 30 litres of water once in 15 days as against
100 litres for fruit bearing plants. They can survive for three
years even if htere is no rain. Secondly, these plant give assured
returns as the government would soon be entering into a tripartite
agreement between bio-diesel processing units, farmer representatives
and the government. Farmers can expect to get about Rs 6 per
kg of seeds.
Reddy further said the government
will provide 90 per cent subsidy on micro irrigation. He told
the collectors the government's targets was to grow these plants
in two lakh acres of land this year. He cautioned the district
administration against possible exploitation by seed dealers.
minister said he had personally seen a seed dealer quotiong
Rs 20 per kg while the price did should not exceed Rs 2.50.
"It will be rhe responsibility of the district administration
to tell the farmers to buy seeds only from established government
nurseries," he added. This project can generate employment
potential in villages. Dwcra women and youth can be encouraged
to set up bio-diesel processing units, he said.