NABARD Chief General Manager R Shankar Narayanan inaugurated a solar dryer at Sanur near Valathikulam, benefiting rain-affected farmers engaged in cultivation of chilli and various horticultural crops.
This solar dryer covers an area of 400 square feet and was built at a cost of ₹3.05 lakh. This serves the important purpose of effectively drying the chilies without contamination from dust and sand.
Funding for the project was provided by NABARD through its Sunor Watershed Restoration Programme, with a total budget of around Rs 1.73 crore.
Narayanan emphasized that NABARD’s primary focus is on funding development and rehabilitation programs in areas suffering from severe water scarcity. As part of these efforts, farm ponds were constructed to collect and store rainwater during the monsoon season. This initiative has significantly improved rural livelihoods, as farmers have seen increased productivity.
After development, these water bodies are jointly managed by local watershed management committees to ensure long-term sustainability.
On the occasion of the silver jubilee of the Vidyal Trust, which is responsible for implementing the Sanur Watershed Development Program and installing solar dryers, Shankar Narayanan distributed indigenous chickens, bio-fertilizers and tree saplings to women’s self-help groups.
Additionally, he reviewed the progress of the Sanur watershed restoration project and approved the establishment of ‘Vidiel Farm Producers Company Limited’, which aims to promote livestock rearing among farmers in Sanur and surrounding villages. .
On another note, District Revenue Officer C Ajay Srinivasan inaugurated open sea cage fish farming in the presence of Shankar Narayanan at Tsunami Nagar and Pallaveli near Thoothukudi on Saturday. The initiative, known as ‘Integrated Multitropical Aquaculture (IMTA) Farming’, is a collaborative effort between NABARD and the Thoothukudi Research Station of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.
Beneficiary fishermen under this program were trained to farm Asian sea bass in two floating sea cages. On this occasion, 1000 fish seeds, chalia seeds and seaweed plants were released in each cage.
ICAR-CMFRI has been actively promoting sea cage farming of high value marine fish like cobia since 2010. Additionally, CMFRI has successfully developed and demonstrated IMTA technology in Palak Bay, which has generated additional income by integrating fish and seaweed farming into aquaculture processes.
First Published: 09 Oct 2023, 12:12 IST