CHENNAI: Bringing cheers to activists, Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam on Saturday announced that the government would issue necessary orders to prevent the cutting of palmyra trees and using them in brick kilns.
“Palmyra is our State tree and is part of the life of Tamil people, language and wealth. These trees act as rain fetching centres and conservator of water bodies. Permission from the district collector will be made mandatory for cutting palmyra trees under unavoidable circumstances,” the minister said.
Explaining the importance of palmyra trees, the minister said the State government would take strenuous steps to protect the existing trees and also to increase itsnumber. “With this objective, action will be taken to distribute 76 lakh palmyra seed nuts and one lakh palmyra seedlings to farmers with full subsidy in 30 districts during this year. Efforts would also be taken to plant palm trees on tank bunds and road sides.
Palmyra Development Mission will be implemented at an outlay of Rs 3 crore under State funds,” minister said. Stating that nowadays, palm sugar, palm candy and pathaneer are being preferred, the minister said these products, if made available in pure form without any adulteration, would be welcomed. So measures would be taken to distribute palm jaggery, a value-added palm product, through fair price shops in coordination with Palm Development Board and Agricultural Cooperative Societies.
The minister also said necessary training would be imparted to farmers to produce quality palm jaggery with latest technology and subsidy would be extended for the purchase of modern jaggery-making machines. Also, importance would be given for undertaking research on palmyra trees in the Agricultural College and Research Institute, Killikulam under Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.