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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pulses cultivation sees a boom in Tuticorin district

Pulses cultivation in the district has witnessed a boom this fiscal, as the productivity and cultivation area exceeded the target multi-fold.

While the productivity increased from 400 kg per hectare last fiscal to 700 kg per hectare this financial year, the cultivation area of pulses was 54,394 hectares by the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal itself against an annual target of 25,000 hectares.

Of the 54,394 hectares covered, black gram was raised on 26,479 hectares, green gram on 27,501 hectares, cowpea on 810 hectares, soya bean on 77 hectares and other pulses on 77 hectares, at Ottapidaram, Kayathar, Kovilpatti, Vilathikulam, Pudur and Tuticorin blocks.

The average area covered under pulses in the district during the last 10 financial years stood at 32,744 hectares, with a maximum coverage of 45,543 hectares achieved in 2005-06 fiscal.Experts attributed the phenomenal growth in the sector to various factors such as proper dissemination of technology from the laboratory to the field, favourable monsoon and a paradigm shift from cotton cultivation to pulses, owing to fall in cotton prices and a simultaneous rise in the price of pulses.

The Agriculture department had distributed 56.48 tonnes of high yielding certified seeds of pulses at subsidized rates to the farmers during between April 1 and December 31, which increased the productivity.

Besides, the department distributed bio-fertilisers like rhizobium and helped the farmers to apply di-ammonium phosphate on the foliage of pulse crops in a scientific manner. The rise in the demand of pulses for consumption owing to its nutritive value too was a reason that more farmers showed interest in raising the crop, which eventually contributed to the increase in the area covered.

Source: The Hindu

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