Govt planning to set up 40 automatic seed vending machines

Quality seeds for kitchen gardens would soon be a button press away and that too at a relatively lesser price than available in the market. Thanks to the state government for planning to set up 40 automatic seed vending machines at Uzhavar Sandhai and other prominent places across the state, as part of its larger plan to promote kitchen gardening.

The vending machines with quality seeds of flower and fruit bearing trees as well as vegetables and greens would also come as an affordable alternative for farmers, who now buy them from private as well as government outlets. The vending machines would function round-the -clock, which is another advantage.

The government is, however, yet to decide on the locations, as the proposal has just been mooted.

M R Palanisamy, deputy director, marketing, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), said the seed vending machines were brought mainly to promote kitchen and terrace gardening. “Many residents are nowadays setting up kitchen gardens. But it is very difficult for them to get just 10-20 seeds. They either have to pay a hefty sum to buy the seeds in bulk or get them from private players. To bridge this gap, we developed this concept. A machine will cost just Rs 2.5 lakh and maintenance will be free for four years. We needn’t make any investment in manpower or infrastructure,” he said.

Seed availability often forces the residents to roam from one shop to the other. “In this case, residents need to insert Rs 10 note and select the seed they require. It will be vended out just like automated teller machines,” said another official. Each packet would consist of 20-30 seeds of various vegetables, fruits, flowers and other greens.

In 2015, the government had set up 11 seed vending machines at district collectors’ office, agricultural college campuses and other locations across the state.


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