NAGAPATTINAM: ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (ICAR-KVK) experts have raised a samba paddy variety that would help farmers in Thalaignayiru who face issues in irrigation.
Farmers in Thalaignayiru had been unable to keep up with others because of their geographical disadvantage. As low lying areas, fields get flooded almost every year, which forces farmers to start cultivation in January when everybody else begins harvest.
The Agriculture department and ICAR-KVK are currently working to bring them back to cultivate during monsoon season. “We introduced a variety called CSR-36 which can withstand salinity to a limit of 11 in electricity conductivity. We provided 10 farmers with CSR-36 to cultivate on 10 acres. The trials were successful, and the crops look good. We would now promote the crop variety among other farmers,” said an official.
Villages around Thalaignayiru are among the low-lying areas of the district, featuring a cavity-or-crater-like geography. The fields get irrigated by the Harichandra river, a Vennaru distributary, through the Irattaikkan irrigation channel. Whenever farmers tried cultivating samba or thaladi by making use of Vennaru waters, they lost their crops to flooding and salinity. So, they try to start only in January and February. Even so, they still have to deal with salinity issues and insufficient water due to closure of Mettur dam.
ICAR-KVK has been working to rectify the situation to give farmers the opportunity to cultivate during samba season like everybody else in the delta districts.
They experimented with CSR-36, produced by ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute in Karnal in Haryana. The crops grown from CSR-36 are ready for harvest in 135 days, “I have cultivated the CSR-36 variety on an acre and started in October. My crops have withstood salinity and flowered nicely. I have now extracted 2.5 tonnes of paddy successfully,” said P Radhakrishnan, a farmer from Kallimedu.
Thalaignayiru farmers are currently in the process of their summer cultivation over about 750 hectares (1,850 acres), separate from the remaining 1.32 lakh hectares. Experts and officials are now trying to involve the hundreds of farmers who battle flooding and salinity issues every year.
“We will use this success story to our advantage and promote the crop among other farmers. Hopefully, all of them return to samba later this year,” said Agriculture department official K Karuppaiah.