Why Tamil Nadu is pushing for palm cultivation

The palm tree is a wonderful gift to humanity as a whole, said the Tamil Nadu agriculture budget, giving its thrust to its cultivation. A man shows a school bag made of palm leaves | Photo courtesy - Godson Samuel

“The palm tree is a wonderful gift to humanity as a whole,” says the first-ever agricultural budget presented in Tamil Nadu Assembly by agriculture minister MRK Panneerselvam recently. “Palmyra is our state tree, with a long and continuous record in the history."

The budget while making a case for palm tree cultivation, highlighted the various usages and products made out of the tree such as baskets, handicrafts, cosmetics, broomsticks, roofs, etc. apart from palm jaggery, palm fruits and palm juice.

Planted along the sides of farms and fields, the long-trunked trees with star-shaped leaves are hard to miss while passing through the villages of Tamil Nadu.

However, in recent times, their numbers have come down starkly due to rapid urbanisation. In view of this, the minister has said that it has been made mandatory to get permission from the district collector before palm trees are cut, even under unavoidable circumstances.

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