Chennai, Dec 2 (IANS): The Tamil Nadu agriculture department under the aegis of sustainable agriculture promotion is supplying saplings of high-value trees across the state.
The scheme was inaugurated by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in November and is being implemented under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture and under the Agro-Forestry sub-mission.
Saplings of 27 species of trees including Sandalwood, Red Sandal, Teak, Vengai, Neem, Malai vembu, Pungai are included in the list of high-value trees to be supplied to the farmers.
Farmers intending to avail of this opportunity has to register with the Uzhavan aap under the section of benefit registration and have to provide details like Aadhaar number and survey number.
The agriculture department officers said that under the scheme, a farmer who is intending to plant the saplings will be provided a maximum of 50 saplings per acre free of cost if the farmer wants to plant them on the bunds of the field. If the farmer is planting in the field, 160 saplings will be provided.
The agriculture department will also provide an amount of Rs 7 per tree for three years from the second year of planting the sapling. Several farmers have already registered on the Uzhavan app and are waiting for the call from the agriculture department to take possession of the high-value tree saplings.
Umamaheswaran, a farmer at Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu told IANS, "This is a great scheme, and each sapling costs anywhere between Rs 70 and 80. I have taken red sandal, teak and sandalwood to be planted in one-acre field, and let us see how it is progressing. With the soil being wet after the incessant rains, this is the best time to plant these trees."
He said that if the trees are properly maintained, they will give high returns in the latter part of life, and farmers of Tamil Nadu are enthused at the opportunity.
Sekhar Narayanan, a farmer from Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu told IANS, "I have already ordered for Teak and will plant it soon at the bunds of my farm. Will get 50 saplings and I think if properly maintained it will be good in the long run."
Each district will be allotted around 2,25,000 saplings during the first phase and the numbers to be allocated during the second phase is yet to be decided.