The Greening of Watershed project was launched by the Department of Agriculture on Thursday at Thumberi village near Natrampalli. The pilot project would cover an area of 200 acres of agricultural land. Additional Secretary of the State Agriculture Department, R Vasuki, conducted a field inspection to monitor the development works under the project.
Joint Director of Agriculture, K Tamilselvan, said that the department had created four clusters, each with 50 acres of land, under the pilot project. The project was aimed at augmenting water sources and conserving soil. The watershed would be created for rain-fed crops in the cluster area.
Under the project, the department would sanction a subsidy of Rs 14 lakh for each cluster to take up works such as levelling of agricultural lands, distribution of fruit saplings and setting up drip irrigation. “We will dig borewells for every 10 to 12 acres of land in the cluster. It will be connected with drip irrigation system,” said Tamilselvan.
While Horticulture Department would support the farmers in taking up mango plantation as the main crop, the Agriculture Department would assist the farmers in cultivating crops like groundnut-banana inter-crops in the cluster, he further said.
Apart from these, 8 other departments, including Aavin, Sericulture, Fisheries, District Rural Development Agency, Agriculture Engineering, Agriculture Marketing and Social Welfare, would play vital roles in the project. “Funds to the tune of Rs 2.05 crore will be generated from all the ten departments for the 2012-2013 fiscal year to implement other schemes in Thumberi. The farmers in the cluster area will also be provided free electricity for farming,” he noted.