The COVID-19 lockdown, in place since March 25, has not stopped farmers in dry areas of the State from carrying out value addition to their produce and earning additional revenue.
As many as 634 tonnes of farm produce were procured from dryland farmers through 139 value-addition machinery units.
About 1.4 crore litres of different types of oil (cold pressed gingelly or coconut oil) and 376 tonnes of dehusked pulses, millets and cattle feed, valued at 3.59 crore, were sold.
This was made possible thanks to the State governments programme Mission on Sustainable Dry Land Agriculture.
Oilseeds and pulses
As part of the programme, value addition units such as millet processing units, oil expellers and cattle feed units are set up in rural areas, at a subsidy of 10 lakh per unit or 75% of the machinery cost, whichever is less.
Apart from enabling farmers to earn additional revenue, the idea is to discourage those in dry lands from raising paddy, which will lead to the consumption of more water in deficit areas, and encourage them to go for oilseeds and pulses, a senior official in the Agriculture Department said.
Pointing out that 242 units were established at a cost of 22.2 crore in the last three years, the official added that 100 more units would be commissioned soon.
The Department also plans to set up value-addition centres in each of the 29 districts.