Trending in Thanjai: Readymade paddy saplings
By N Ramesh | ENS | Published: 22nd July 2013 08:09 AM |
Agriculture in parts of Cauvery delta attained an industrial flavour with farmers outsourcing paddy nurseries from some private operators and also from farming peers.
One could see the workers loading ADT 43, ADT 36 variety of nurseries grown in special mats into a mini lorry from a farm located in Saliyamangalam village. A multinational firm which has taken the farm for lease from a local farmer, raises nurseries for farmers who are in for Kuruvai cultivation.
An official of the firm on conditions of anonymity said “We take orders from farmers about the variety of paddy to be grown. Once the farmer pays the advance, we raise nurseries on our farm”.
At present, `5,500 per acre has been charged which includes cost of the seed, raising the nursery with inputs, transplanting the nurseries using the machines in the farmers field and also spraying weedicide, the official added.
Usually, 16-day old nurseries were transplanted in the fields, they said. Unconfirmed estimates say that the private firm alone supplied seedlings to 10,000 acres during the last samba season in Cauvery delta districts.
The area that have been planted with the transplanting machines would be much higher with many farmers owning such machines themselves. Ramalingam, a farmer from Kottaiyur village near Kumbakonam, who now owns a transplanter, said he was also approached by the representatives of the private firm. Since he felt the rate quoted by them was a little higher, he purchased a machine for himself. “The transplanting by the machine has been even throughout the field and one could get a good yield. The depth to which the seedling is immersed is uniform”, he says. Moreover the labour shortage was also an added reason why he opted for machine transplantation.
The cost of the machine with six rows cost `10 lakh and the farmer could get a subsidy of `4 lakh.
Sundara Vimalnathan, the secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association says with the machine one could transplant eight acres per day which may go up to 11 acres with the skill of the operator. “The machine is suitable for System Rice intensification and one could have upto 56-60 tillers in a clump of seedling”, he added.
In Thanjavur district, the transplanters have been widely used in Ammapettai, Melattur and Tiruvidaimarudur areas, an agricultural department official said.
However the machine transplantation has its disadvantage also.
“Since, 15-day old seedlings were transplanted, the weeds pose a big problem”, says Sukumaran, a farmer from Tiruppunthuruthi.