SIMA welcomes fund allocation for Sustainable Cotton Cultivation Mission announced in the Tamilnadu Agriculture Budget 2022-23
Tamilnadu textile industry that accounts 1/3rd of the textile business size of the country provides direct jobs to over sixty lakh people is predominantly cotton based. Tamilnadu textile industry needs 120 lakh bales of cotton annually (170 kgs each), while the State produces only five lakh bales per year. The Association has been pleading the Hon’ble Chief Minister to give more thrust for cotton development in Tamilnadu, as the spinning mills in the State spend between Rs.3/- and Rs.6/- per kg towards transportation to source cotton from other States and cost of the same has been increasing steeply with the increase in diesel price. Consequently, Hon’ble Chief Minister has launched Sustainable Cotton Cultivation Mission and is encouraging cotton development in the State.
In a Press Release issued here today, Mr. Ravi Sam, Chairman, The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has thanked the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr. M.K. Stalin and Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Mr. M.R. K. Paneerselvam for allocating Rs.33,007.68 crores to the Agriculture Department in the State Agriculture Budget for the year 2022-23 which would greatly benefit the farmers at large and cotton farmers in particular. He has thanked for allocating Rs.15.32 crores in the budget to enhance the cotton yield. He has pointed out that the average cotton yield per hectare in the State is around 585 kgs as against the world average of 805 kgs while over 20 countries achieve over 1500 kgs per hectare. He has said that SIMA Cotton Development & Research Association (SIMA CD & RA) has been closely working with the Department of Agriculture in implementing various schemes relating to cotton. Mr. Ravi Sam has said that the State has potential to increase the cotton production from the current level of 5 lakh bales to 15 lakh bales in five years with the proposed Mission. He has added that the State would give importance for the cultivation of sustainable, extra-long staple cotton and SIMA CD & RA is fully equipped to implement the Mission right from the supply of genetically pure seeds.
Mr. Ravi Sam has appreciated the allocation of funds for setting up of 3000 solar powered pump sets that would greatly benefit the farmers and also reduce the burden to the Government on account of free power supply to the agriculture. He has said that the Government may increase the allocation for solar pumpset that would greatly benefit TANGEDCO to reduce its losses and also the budget allocation for free power supply to agriculture. He has pointed out that the Government has allocated Rs.5,157.56 crores for free electricity supply to the farmers in the budget 2022-23.
SIMA Chairman has stated that the allocation of Rs. 150 crores to use machinery to overcome labour shortage will greatly benefit the farmers to increase their net income and in the case of cotton, battery operated Kapas Plucker doubles the farmers’ net income. He has said that the mechanization would also help the farmers to improve the soil condition, conserve water, increase yield, plan sowing and harvesting in the right time and fetch better revenue. SIMA Chief has also welcomed the fund allocations for digital agriculture, crop insurance scheme, State Agriculture Development Plan and creation of new soil testing centre in Mayiladuthurai.