With distribution of subsidy for drip and sprinkler irrigation and propagation of advanced technologies, farmers having small land holdings in rain-fed areas have managed to raise crops this season and earn a decent income in Theni district.
Major beneficiaries are horticulturists raising sapota, mango, lemon, banana, guava, cashew, papaya, hybrid amla, drumstick and vegetables, and floriculturists raising jasmine, rose, tuberose and other flowers.
With no support, K. Venkatammal and her husband Kayambu of Koduvilarpatti in Theni block had been struggling to raise crops in one acre of land owing to shortage of water.
With subsidy given by officials for drip irrigation, she raised tomato crop and got an yield of 200 to 250 boxes of tomato this season, earning at least Rs. 200 per box.
Similarly, S. Maharajan of Vellaiammalpuram in Uthamapalayam block who depended on channel irrigation shifted to drip irrigation for effective use of available water to raise crops. Labour shortage too disrupted his farm activities.
Now, he raised not only grape but also vegetables, including broad beans. With adoption of modern farm practices, he was able to increase production and profit margin.
“I have earned around Rs. 2 lakh this season from three acre land,” he said.
Durai Raj of Ambasamudram had abandoned his farm activities and became a daily wage worker in a mill owing to shortage of labour and irrigation water.
With creation of water sources and introduction of drip irrigation, he revived his farm activities and raised vegetables in his farm. He also adopted all modern agriculture practices to boost production.
The district administration had offered cent per cent subsidy for drip irrigation to small and tiny farmers and 75 per cent subsidy for other farmers.
“We had disbursed a total subsidy of Rs. 7.69 crore to 1,846 farmers in 2012, Rs. 7.53 crore to 1,976 farmers in 2013, Rs. 9.63 crore to 2,068 farmers in 2014, and Rs. 3.17 crore to 6,29 farmers till March 2015,” said Collector N. Venkatachalam.
Drip irrigation would not only supply required quantum of water to crops but also prevent growth of weeds, and reduce labour in farm work. Very limited labour force would be sufficient to man the farm till harvesting, he added.
Source : The Hindu