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Efforts on to popularise red gram cultivation

G. Srinivasan

Aim is to increase production, meet demand for it in State

— Photo: M. Srinath

Advantageous:P. Loganathan, Joint Director, Agriculture Department, and a farmer inspecting the red gram crop cultivated in a village near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district on Monday.

THANJAVUR: Cultivation of red gram, an essential pulse variety, popularly called as “Thuvaram Paruppu,”, is being popularised in the old Cauvery delta by the Agriculture Department in Thanjavur district.

The crop had been raised by two farmers of Thirupanandal and Thiruvidaimaruthur areas in Thanjavur district with assistance from the agriculture department. Mahalingam, a farmer of Thirubuvanam had raised red gram on one hectare of land, with a subsidy of Rs. 20,000 from the Agriculture Department.

According to P. Loganathan, Joint Director of Agriculture, and Ravindran, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Thiruvidaimaruthur, Mahalingam could reap 1,200 kg per hectare. He would earn a profit of Rs. 50,000 per hectare. “Already the farmer has taken a profit of Rs. 12,000 by raising black gram of ADT5 variety as an inter-crop for red gram. Thus the total profit would work out to Rs. 62,000 per hectare for the farmer.

Gangadharan of Pattam village in Thirupanamdal block is yet another farmer who has raised red gram on one hectare.

According to G. Muthukoori, Assistant Director of Agriculture, who motivated Gangadharan to raise red gram for demonstration on one hectare of land said that a sum of Rs. 20,000 had been given as subsidy for a hectare by the Government. “The crop is 55 days old. It will yield in 140 days. Spacing is good. There is a gap of three feet between one plant and another which is the necessary requirement. Irrigation is done using sprinklers given by the agriculture department under subsidy. The farmer can hope to get a good yield,” Mr. Muthukoori said.

The main aim of introducing red gram in the Cauvery delta was to increase its production and meet the demand for red gram in Tamil Nadu. Besides meeting the demand, aim was also to provide an alternate crop to the farmer which could fetch him good profit, said Mr. Loganathan. “We have already increased the area under pulses in Thanjavur district. It has been increased by 2500 hectares this year. If farmers can take to red gram cultivation, they may have an alternate crop which can earn them good profit and also meet the demand for dhal in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Loganathan added.

Red gram is best suited for old delta area said agriculture department officials. Pattam village is very much suited for red gram and other pulses, said Muthukoori. Cultivation is also easy. All that the farmers have to do is to plough the soil and sow the seeds in line sowing. Irrigation is to be done using sprinkler. “Major type of soil in Cauvery delta is ‘adhanur' type of soil. This is best suited for all crops, more for pulses,” Mr. Muthukoori said.

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