THANJAVUR: Outsourcing preparation of nurseries in mats and transplanting them with machines is catching up in several parts of the Cauvery delta, especially in Thanjavur district. It also addresses the problem of labour shortage.
Natarajan, a farmer from Orathanadu area, has registered for preparing his six-acre plot for the Samba cultivation using machines. “A private company will raise the nursery for 14-15 days in mats and transplant it in my field using a machine. They charge Rs 4,800 per acre,” he informs.
Machines not only address the problem of labour scarcity, they also perform transplantation over vast areas in quick time. If you compute the cost of processing the seeds on your own, raising the nursery and transplanting using labourers, you will find that machine transplantation cuts down cost, informs Natarajan. “Outsourcing transplantation reduces cost by Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 per acre,” he adds.
Though small entrepreneurial farmers started machine transplantation over five years ago, outsourcing of machine transplantation picked up over the past three years.
Syngenta, a multinational seed company, developed a seedling method and a transplanting machine called ‘Tegra’ in 2011, which they have been marketing aggressively in Cauvery delta districts.
Competing with Tegra is P Kusan (51) of Thennamanadu, who prepares mat nurseries, has so far received orders for 200 acres. “We charge Rs 5,000 per acre for transplanting nurseries of varieties chosen by the farmer,” Kusan informs Express.