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Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | DMK promises separate budget for agriculture, cancellation of farm laws

The DMK also announced its plan to set up a farmers’ market to eliminate middlemen

Announcing a slew of promises to protect agriculture and the interests of farmers, the DMK on Saturday said it would adopt a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly urging the Centre to withdraw all the three farm-related legislation. It would present a separate agriculture budget as well.

“It is a matter of shock that the Centre has failed to meet the farmers who have been protesting against the legislation for over 100 days. The DMK will also repeal the law on contract farming enacted by the AIADMK government,” said the manifesto released by party president M.K. Stalin.

Expressing its commitment to protect the Cauvery Delta region which has been declared as protected agricultural zone, the manifesto said it would prevent any move by the Centre to implement Coal Bed Methane (CBM) project and the Shale Gas project.

One of the important promises is to present a separate budget for agriculture. “It will be presented after consulting farmers’ associations and others to improve the productivity,” the manifesto said.

The DMK also announced its plan to set up a farmers’ market to eliminate middlemen. As per the proposal, all crops and farm products produced in rural areas will be sold in those farmers’ markets.

Besides, a separate section will be established in the agriculture department to promote organic farming, and a research Centre for organic farming in the name of late Nammalwar will be established, the manifesto said. Subsidy for inputs would be provided to farmers involved in organic farming.

It also promised to increase number of man days to 150 to 100 covered under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

The party said it would sell jaggery and palm sugar through ration shops apart from supplying black gram and one extra kg of sugar.

“The minimum supportive price for paddy will be increased from ₹2,000 to ₹2,500 per quintal and the ₹4,000 for sugarcane per tonne,” it said.

The manifesto also promised to regulate shrimp farms to prevent the damage caused to the farmers’ lands.

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