400 hectares to come under fruit farms in Ramanathapuram district
Horticulture Department officials inspecting a vegetable field at Koraipallam near Kamudhi in Ramanathapuram district. Photo: L. BALACHANDAR
Vegetable cultivation with drip irrigation to cover 100 ha.
The Department of Horticulture has proposed to promote vegetable cultivation under mulching technology with drip irrigation system in 100 hectares and set up fruit farms in 400 hectares in Ramanathapuam district during this season under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
Showcasing the mango farm at Pandiyur near here and guava farm and vegetable cultivation at Koraipallam near Kamudhi, during a tour on Thursday, Deputy Director of Horticulture V. Gangadaran said that farmers were offered subsidies and encouraged to cultivate vegetables, establish fruit farms and set up honey bee hives under the NHM.
Vegetable cultivation under mulching technology would help them enhance yield by more than 20 per cent and produce quality vegetables.
The new technology would also help farmers control weed and increase the water efficiency by 60 to 80 per cent, he said.
The farmers would be given subsidy of Rs. 36,000 per hectare, he added.
He said the department had proposed to set up fruit farms in 100 hectares under the NMSA (Horticulture-based farming system) for this year but the government had approved the project for 400 hectares, offering a subsidy of Rs. 25,000 per hectare towards planting materials, cultivation aspects and inputs such as biofertilizer.
Mango farms would be established in Mandapam, Tirupullani and Kamudhi areas and guava, sapota and amla farms in Kamudhi area, Mr. Gangadaran said. Under the on-farm water management, the government offered 100 per cent subsidy for small and marginal farmers and 75 per cent subsidy for big farmers for drip irrigation.
Work orders were issued for drip irrigation in 167 hectares last year and work was in progress, he said.
This year, the government would help farmers set up drip irrigation system in 400 hectares, he added.
Assistant Directors of Horticulture B. Ilangovan and J. Rajendran said that during this season farmers would be encouraged to cultivate shallots in 50 hectares and Bellary onion in 70 hectares in Kamudhi, Kadaladi, Mudukulathur and Paramakudi areas by offering a subsidy of Rs. 12,000 per hectare.
For pollination support, Amma Women Empowerment Groups and other interested parties were being encouraged to set up 300 units of honey bee hives in the district. Each group was given Rs. 1,600 for setting up the units, they said.