Interview with Mr.Gagandeep Singh IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu

Mr.Gagandeep Singh IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, is heading various initiatives for farmers in Tamil Nadu. There was a recent interview with him on radio in Tamil. Here are a few excerpts below. The interview is also available for listening here:

I Krishi Karma Award:

From 2011 except 2 years over 100 lakhs metric tonnes (paddy, millets, pulses) were produced in Tamil Nadu. The state of Tamil Nadu has been getting the  Krishi Karma Award four times in the past.

II Soil Health Card:

Soil Health Card is now provided by the Government to all farmers. 2.5 Hectare area is inspected and as a result the observations are reported on the card.

While the farmers have general knowledge on what minerals are required for their crops and soil, this test helps with scientific analysis of the soil and its minerals. This results in identifying what are the minerals that are required for the crops but not available in the soil are all reported in the Soil Health Card.

This helps to focus on those minerals that are missing and not on the ones that are already adequately available in the soil.

A pilot test is going on right now, where every block, every village, look at the fertilisers and see the soil health card and provide the fertilisers based on the minerals that are lacking.

III Per Drop More Crop – Micro Irrigation

The concept of micro irrigation is:

  1. Less usage of water
  2. Crop – weed control
  3. Efficient utilisation of fertilisers

1586cr has been allocated for subsidy in TN.

For farmers who have up to 5acres, 100% subsidy available for the micro irrigation scheme. For the other farmers (who have more than 5 acres), 75% subsidy is available. (While Central Govt. gives 30 to 40% subsidy – TN Govt covers the higher gap.)

Drip Irrigation rates are available – after tender, Government has shortlisted the companies that can sell to the farmers – and farmers can choose the company of their choice.

By March 2019, request all farmers to make use of it, as policies might change every year.

The areas where it will be most useful are:

  • All coconut farmers should put it. Also, banana crops and sugar cane (large water consumption) use drip irrigation.
  • Wheat (Drip Irrigation)
  • Pulses (Sprinkler irrigation)

IV Borewell For Drip Irrigation:

In addition, there is 41.71Cr sanctioned already for Borewell for drip irrigation scheme.

Borewell for drip irrigation : 41.71Cr sanctioned for this already by CM of TN.

  1. Borewell Purchase: Rs.25,000/- subsidy
  2. Diesel motor set: Rs.15,000/- subsidy
  3. Pipe: 50% of cost or Rs.10,000/- subsidy (whichever is maximum)
  4. Water Storage: Ground Level Reservoir: Rs.40,000/- subsidy

V FPO Progress:

Farmer Interest Group (FIG) can be created by 20farmers in a block, who come together to take advantage of the economies of scale. Such groups of FIGs can come together and for FPOs (of about 1000 farmers)

The Government has 5L allocated to each FPO each year. 100Cr was allocated to these FPOs in Tamil Nadu.

8920 machinery equipments were purchased:

  • 772 tractors
  • 1801 power tillers
  • 1488 power weeders
  • 915 roto veeders
  • 645 bush cutters
  • 3 combined harvesters

VI Fasal Bheema Yojana: Crop Insurance Scheme

3475Cr. Compensations were sanctioned so far in 2016-17 in TN.

Thotta Kalai:





Vegetables: Tapioca

Loose Flowers (Malli 1st)

Turmeric (2nd)



VII National Horticulture Mission: 128Cr received under this scheme

Polyhouse is recommended.

50% subsidy available from Govt.

Shared Net is recommended

Private nurseries –

Cold storage –

Pack houses – sorting / grading / cleaning / washing / packing

Bee Culture : Boxes for bees

Vegetables cultivation

VIII NADP:  National Agriculture Development Scheme

Every year 60:40 ratio Govt of India:State help is given. Funding for good state schemes to be supported by Govt. of India

IX Uzhavan App:

2.5lakh farmers are using it

Farmer can apply for schemes through the app itself. It will be processed by the officers directly.

Crop insurance: he can find all details by entering his phone number. Compensation can be claimed from here.

What are the seeds / rates etc all from the app – from the nearest shop.

Get market rates directly from the app

Water levels in each dam

Rain forecast in each area

Who are the agriculture officer, etc in their area. When will they visit our village.

Ask questions on the phone itself.

X ENAM: E National Agriculture Market

  • Trader can monitor lots via cell phone and give their rates
  • The computer will decide the highest bidder at the end of the time and announce instantly.

XI Promotion of Agriculture Mechanisation:

  • Grain: Machine Transplanting
  • Tractor Purchase
  • Power Tiller
  • Roto Weter
  • Bund

Green Initiative:

  • Solar Pump (5HP to 10HP): 90% subsidy – with empaneled companies

XII TN Govt Schemes:

  • Drip Irrigation Scheme
  • Collective Farming Scheme
  • Soil Health Scheme
  • Manaavari Scheme
  • Contract Farming Act (in progress)
  • Marketing – Agriculture market growth
  • Horticulture – supply chain management scheme 398Cr.

Farmers can reach out to one of these officers to learn more:

Assistant Director – Agriculture (Agriculture)

Assistant Director – Horticulture (Horticulture)

Coop Cane officer (Sugarcane)