Chennai, Aug 15 (IANS) A high-level committee, headed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, will meet every month to sort out the issues faced by the farmers, state Agriculture Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam said on Sunday.Following up on the agriculture budget presented in the Assembly, the committee, which will comprise the Secretaries of Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Food, Revenue, Rural Development, Water Resources, and Sugar departments, has been set up to monitor and support the farmers who fall in dire straits, he said."The committee, led by the Chief Secretary, will review farming-related schemes and will come up with solutions to problems challenging the farmers. With the state going all out on agriculture, we don't want the farming community to suffer and hence, such a committee has been constituted to aid them," Panneerselvam told IANS.The committee would meet every month with respective secretaries and heads of agriculture and agriculture-related departments as well as other concerned departments for understanding and sorting out the problems of the farmers, he said.The government is also in the process of setting up agricultural zone committees to support farmers and to provide them with awareness on soil quality, climate conditions, availability of water as also on the rotational crop procedures, the minister said.While the government knows that traditional farmers have rich, practical knowledge on agriculture and farming, the advancements in science and how these could be incorporated in prosperous farming will be imparted to them by the support of these zone committees, Panneerselvam said.Apart from allocating an amount of Rs 34,220.64 crore for agriculture, the state is on an ambitious plan to generate an income of Rs 50,000 crore in five years through the cultivation of "Moringa" (drumstick), after finding it and its value-added products have huge export potential.The state has already declared Theni, Madurai, Dindigul, Thoothukudi, Ariyallur, Tiruppur, and Karur as 'Moringa Export Zones'.The Agriculture Department will initially open a Special Economic Facilitation Centre at Madurai at an initial cost of Rs 1 crore and use it as a point to collect and corroborate on information about moringa farmers, exporters, and traders in various countries.The centre will also provide information to farmers on the need for country-specific quality standards, requirements, and regulations required for moringa exports.
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