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Delta farmers gear up for samba cultivation

G. Srinivasan

As rivers fill up, ryots procure seeds Farmers told to adopt system rice intensification method of preparing seedlings

THANJAVUR: Farmers in the Cauvery delta districts of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur, who depend on canal irrigation, have started preparations for samba cultivation as the rivers fill up.

At many places, farmers were seen ploughing the land using bullocks and tractors. They have also started procuring seeds.

M. Jothi, Joint Director of Agriculture, Thanjavur district, said the demand for seeds was more in Kumbakonam, Papanasam and Thiruvidaimaruthur areas. "We are supplying the seeds to the farmers through our depots, which have been asked to function on Saturdays too. The depots will remain open till eight p.m. every day," he said.

The agriculture department is advising farmers on sowing and transplantation. Those who follow the traditional transplantation process have been asked to raise nurseries on eight cents of land for transplanting in one acre of land.

The department has advised farmers to go for the system rice intensification (SRI) method of preparing seedlings. This is popularly known as the Madagascar method.

Mr. Jothi said the that the cost of cultivation would be reduced by 32 per cent an acre.

The seedlings can be prepared in one cent instead of eight cents. Polythene sheets or urea bags can be used to prepare the seedlings.

The seedlings can be transplanted in 13 days and the water requirement is also less.

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