More focus needed on agri research: Expert on PMK’s ‘shadow’ budget

Taking cue from the Tamil Nadu government’s separate budget for agriculture for 2021-22, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has recently released its 14th shadow budget for the farm sector. The budget lays emphasis on agricultural education, infrastructure and irrigation projects.

Last year, the state government allocated only 6 per cent of the state’s budget to agriculture and allied activities, lower than that seen in 29 states. In the shadow budget, the PMK has allocated ₹47,500 crore towards the sector.

In conversation with The Federal, agricultural economist Dr R Gopinath says a budget dedicated to agriculture should focus on agricultural production, irrigation projects and post-harvest management practices. Speaking about the PMK’s shadow budget, Gopinath says that emphasis on agricultural research and education should be given as it would benefit the sector rather than just fostering agricultural education. He added that the focus on improving irrigation techniques would help the agricultural system in the long run.

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