542 hectares to be covered in Tiruchi district this year
Farmers installing drip irrigation system at a field at Chinnapallipalayam in Tiruchi district.— PHOTO: A. Muralitharan
Drip irrigation has helped the farmers of the district to take up horticulture cultivation in a big way.
Under the drip irrigation method, water is supplied without much wastage for a long time pointedly to the root of the crops. Tapioca, sugarcane, tuberose, and oil palm are the major crops cultivated in the district using drip irrigation.
Murugesan, son of Subbaiyan, a farmer of Chinnapallipalayam in Thottiyam taluk, said: “I have cultivated “mullikodi” variety of tapioca on 0.85 hectares. I received a subsidy of Rs.85, 400 per hectare under the National Sustainable Agriculture Movement for installing drip irrigation system. I got a yield of 50 tonnes per hectare, and I’m planning to sell tapioca for Rs.5 per kg.”
K.Palraj, deputy director, Agriculture, and Ravichandran, assistant director, Horticulture, said that a target of 542 hectares has been fixed as target for providing drip irrigation this year for horticulture crops and 79 hectares for other crops.
Hundred per cent subsidy is given to small farmers with up to five acres and for marginal farmers with up to 2.5 acres, and 75 per cent subsidy is given for other farmers. Under National Agriculture Development Programme banana bunch cover is given to farmers to avoid insect bite and pecking by birds at the time of ripening of the fruits. A subsidy of Rs.12, 500 per hectare is given for covering the bananas. Horticulture crops are cultivated on 25,000 hectares. Banana, mango, guava, tapioca, onion, brinjal, tomato, bhindi, jasmine, tuberose, rose, chillies, and turmeric are the major horticulture crops cultivated in the district.