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Friday, October 12, 2007

Precision farming to be introduced at a cost of Rs.16.76 lakh in Tuticorin

Precision farming, a relatively new ‘agriculture management philosophy’, will be introduced in the Tuticorin district by the Department of Horticulture during the current fiscal on an outlay of Rs.16.76 lakh allocated by the Central Government.

The project is aimed at doubling the productivity of hybrid varities of vegetable crops like bhendi, tomato and brinjal.

Mr.S. Sundaram Pillai, Assistant Director of Horticulture, said that the concept would be implemented over 20 hectares of farm in a selected block covering about 30 to 35 farmers.

As part of the scheme, farm development and farm management activities would be taken up from agronomical, technical, environmental and economical perspectives.

Mr. Pillai said that hybrid seeds of bhendi, tomato and brinjal worth Rs 10,000 would be distributed free to beneficiaries for every hectare of land holding.

They would also be provided with water soluble fertilizers like NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium) costing Rs.30,000, and plant protection chemicals worth Rs.10,000, for each hectare.

Under the project, financial assistance at the rate of Rs 28,800 per hectare would be extended to farmers to establish drip irrigation system.

“The facility will optimize the yield with limited use of water and nutrients,” he added.

Owing to use of lesser quantity of water, fertilizers applied at the roots would not be washed away quickly.

A team of resource persons from Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI) at Killikulam near here, a constituent college of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, would give technical assistance to the farmers on precision farming methodology at each stage of crop raising.

The farmers would be taught on soil and weather conditions, forewarning of pest attacks and weather mapping.

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