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Farmers oppose merger plan of NRCB with Bangalore research institute

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The proposed merger of three central institutes of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), including the National Research Centre for Banana functioning from Trichy, has evoked strong opposition among the farmers and functionaries of various farmers' associations. During the grievance meeting held here on Thursday, all the functionaries who attended the meeting unanimously opposed the union government's decision and urged to rethink about their plan of merger.
Quoting sources, they said that based on an expert committee recommendations, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) in Chennai be merged with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kochi, and Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI) in Coimbatore be made a sub-centre of the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research in Lucknow. Likewise, the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) in Trichy may be merged with the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Bangalore.


While opposing the proposed move by the union government, the district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to CPI, Ayilai Sivasuriyan accused the Centre of plotting to destroy the delta region of agricultural activities. "Already Karnataka government is betraying Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water issue. If NRCB would be merged with IIHR in Bangalore, they would slowly close down the institution in Trichy," he accused.
Other functionaries, such as Puliyur A Nagarajan, state organizer of the farmers' wing of Tamil Manila Congress, P Ayyakannu, state president of Desiya Thanninthiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam also echoed Sivasuriyan.
They alleged that the merger proposals were unjustified and would deprive Tamil Nadu of institutes of national and international repute. A number of employees would be affected. They urged the state government to pressure the union government to drop the plan. They demanded Centre to allow these research institutes to remain in their current locations and status, to protect the interest of the farmers and the continuation of research activities without any disturbance.
While replying to the apprehensions raised by farmers, district collector T Rajamani said that according to initial information there won't be any chance of closing down or merging this institution, he said. "However, we will forward your apprehensions to the government," he assured.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/farmers-oppose-merger-plan-of-nrcb-with-bangalore-research-institute/articleshow/61871725.cms

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