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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oilseeds production set to get a boost in Tuticorin

With the demand for edible oils on the rise, the Department of Agriculture has chalked out plans to augment production of oilseeds in the district on an outlay of Rs. 5.53 lakh during the current fiscal.

The amount was earmarked under the Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil palm, and Maize (ISOPM) of the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

Speaking to The Hindu , S. Subramaniam, Joint Director of Agriculture, said the production and productivity of oilseeds such as groundnut, gingelly and sunflower would be enhanced through area expansion, efficient crop management practices, and soil and moisture conservation techniques.

"We will increase the area under oilseed cultivation from 8,000 ha in the last fiscal to 11,000 ha before March 31, 2007," he added.

Of this, gingelly would be cultivated on 6,800 ha, groundnut on 3,000 ha and sunflower on 1,200 ha.

Similarly, productivity of groundnut would be increased from 1,667 kg per ha in the last fiscal to 1,800 kg per ha, gingelly from 223 kg per ha to 300 kg per ha, and sunflower from 363 kg per ha to 500 kg per ha, before the end of the fiscal.

Under ISOPM, assistance would be provided to farmers for the production of certified seeds, and procurement of bio fertilizers and irrigational gadgets.

For the production of certified seeds, the department will first purchase breeder seeds from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). The seeds would then be multiplied into certified class seeds at the farmers' holdings, with subsidy given to the ryots at each stage of conversion.

The other assistances included distribution of rhizobium culture to economise the nitrogenous fertilizer usage and supply of plant protection equipment, all at subsidies rates.

"A total of 10 hand-operated sprayers will be distributed, at a subsidy of 50 per cent of the cost of a sprayer or Rs. 800 per unit, whichever is less," Mr Subramanian said.

He said pipes of 75 mm in diameter would be supplied to the oilseed cultivators under subsidised rates, for irrigation.

Source: The Hindu

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