Now, Delta ryots bank on pulses

With the failure of Samba crops, the drought-hit delta farmers have now pinned all their hopes on pulses, cultivation, which is on in fullswing across the region. As pulses require minimal water compared to paddy, farmers expect a good yield this year, thanks to the prevalence of favourable climatic conditions.
Fact File
Fact File


The pulses cultivation is a customary one in the delta region as per the rice-fallow cultivation method to enrich soil nutrients of soil and farmers have already begun to raise green gram, black gram, maize and gingelly. According to agricultural officials, the potential cultivation area for pulses in Nagapattinam district is around 11,000 hectare in Kizhvelur, Thalainayar, Thirumarugal and Mayiladuthurai blocks. Farmers have already started cultivating pulses through direct sowing method in these areas. 
Meanwhile, in Tiruchy, the officials said that the black gram cultivation is gaining momentum with the help of groundwater in Lalgudi, Andanallur and Pullambadi. The villages Kodiyalam, Thiruvalarsolai, and Uthamarseeli, which had a paltry samba crop are also gearing up for black gram cultivation with the seed depots of agriculture department actively selling black gram seeds at Rs 92 per kilogram. In Thanjavur, the cultivation of pulses is being undertaken in 3,000 hectare, which would go up acreage in the coming days. 
The pulses cultivation, which are usually 70-day cycle, is estimated to yield around 300-500 kg per acre and black gram will fetch between Rs 90 and 100 per kilogram. To increase the yield, the agriculture department has been advising the farmers to take up micro irrigation method. However, farmers in some regions have decided to skip black gram and instead opt for maize and gingelly. “Pulses give yield based on the soil condition. 
In certain regions, ‘Thai Pattam’ would be favourable and in some other regions, only Chithirai pattam would help. This season, the farmers can switch to groundnut instead of black gram and green gram as the price has been fluctuating this season,” said, Swamimalai S Vimalnathan secretary of Cauvery Farmers’ Protection Association.

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