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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Rs. 1 crore to popularise SSI technology

Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: The State Government has allotted Rs. 1 crore to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University to popularise the System of Sugarcane Intensification (SSI) technology among sugarcane growers, said Vice-Chancellor of the university P. Murugesa Boopathi here recently. Inaugurating a two-day research workshop on sugarcane at TNAU, he said the university would conduct demonstrations on SSI in sugar mill areas comparing the modern technology with conventional sugarcane practices.

“As sugarcane is a high-labour intensive crop, TNAU has imported two types of harvesters to conduct the demonstrations. Using these harvesters will be economical as the cost of harvesting a tonne of cane will be between Rs. 225 to Rs. 250 as against the Rs. 650 or Rs. 700 that manual harvesting costs. The university has also planned to develop a model sugarcane farm to be operated on 100 per cent mechanisation in its Sugarcane Research Station at Cuddalore,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Referring to a high-level meeting held in Chennai, Mr. Boopathi said the State Government was keen on doubling the income of farmers in the next few years.

“There are nearly 75 lakh marginal and small farmers in the State. The Government is looking at transforming the lives of these people by increasing their annual income to Rs. 25 lakh. This, it believes, can be achieved by increasing the production and productivity from 50 per cent to 100 per cent,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

As a strategy, TNAU had suggested ‘critical technologies' suited for major crops that would lead to significant increase in yield.

M. Paramathma, Director of Research of TNAU, said that the university had so far released 36 high yielding varieties of sugarcane for the benefit of farmers.

“Scientists should develop varieties with high sugar recovery, breed varieties suitable for ethanol production and high biomass for power generation, evolve varieties with high fibre content to meet the demand from the paper industry, develop technologies for rapid composting of cane trash, and standardise SSI techniques,” he said.

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