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Oct 28, 2009

Community radio, agritech portal launched at TNAU


It was a day of opening buildings and launching of new crop varieties, farm implements, an agritech portal and a community e-radio station.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam inaugurated these and pointed out that the TNAU had a rich tradition. Efforts must be made to uphold it at a time when the State and the rest of the country’s agricultural economy looked for breakthrough technology from farm scientists.

The British started the first agricultural college at Saidapet in the then Madras in 1876. As the soil condition and climate in Coimbatore was ideal for research, the institution was shifted to this city in 1905. The college building and another structure for research came up at Rs. 4.7 lakh in 1907.After a host of expansion activities since then, the TNAU had now constructed a centenary building whose ground floor and first floor measured 32,000 sq ft each. The construction of the building was initiated in the centenary year of 2005.

A press release from the university said the ground floor had 20 room, seven halls for office purpose, a waiting hall, a canteen, a lobby and a portico.The first floor consisted of four rooms, four meeting halls, a board room, a dining hall, a conference room, eight office rooms and a waiting hall.

A rainwater collection tank with a capacity of one lakh litres had also been constructed on the premises.While the building was inaugurated by Mr. Stalin, the Agriculture Minister released 11 new varieties of crops such as kudiravali, greengram, sesame, castor, cotton, sugarcane, Guinea grass, brinjal, snake gourd and cashew.The farm equipment released were, improved TNAU Dal Mill, twin row precision organic manure-cum-fertilizer applicator, worker-friendly areca nut stripper and multi-row power weeder for system rice intensification.

Mr. Stalin and Mr. Arumugam also visited the exhibition at the TNAU’s Technology Park where the new crop varieties, implements, location-specific technologies and agricultural inputs were on display.The agritech portal of the university had nearly one lakh pages on various subjects such as agriculture, horticulture, agriculture engineering, forestry, fisheries, animal husbandry, sericulture and seed certification.The community e-radio station of the university had been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and World Media Foundation.The objective was to share the local agricultural information among the people in the local language.

Union Minister of State for Health S. Gandhiselvan, State Highways Minister M.P. Saminathan, Khadi Minister K. Ramachandran, Agriculture Commissioner S. Kosalaraman, Agriculture Marketing Commissioner Atul Anand, Coimbatore Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra were among those present at the inaugural. Former Vice-Chancellor of TNAU C. Ramaswamy was felicitated for initiating the project to construct the centenary building.

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