TIRUCHY: Overall food grain cultivation has exceeded the targeted volume for the fifth consecutive year in Tiruchy district. Apart from a few drawbacks in paddy cultivation, overall cultivation crossed this year’s target of 4.05 lakh metric tonnes as expected with an average of 4.2 metric tonnes per hectare. Paddy alone accounted for more than 2 lakh metric tonnes of the overall cultivation target.
A good monsoon and the Cauvery flowing throughout the season gave an edge to farmers, allowing them to attain success in the 2019-2020 season. Each year, based on the previous year’s overall foodgrain cultivation, a specific target is set.
Accordingly, Tiruchy was given a target of 4.05 lakh metric tonnes, including 50 per cent paddy, 40 per cent millet and 10 per cent pulses.
Despite facing several threats, including rice blast disease, gall midge attacks and excess rainfall in certain areas, farmers here were able to bring their paddy crops till the harvest stages and got a good yield this season. In the previous season (2018-2019), while the target was set at 4.01 lakh metric tonnes, the district achieved well above the targetted volume. Thus, the target for 2019-2020 was set at 4.05 lakh metric tonnes.
Speaking to TNIE, a senior Agriculture department official in Tiruchy said, “Availability of water for irrigation throughout the season gave farmers hope to engage in paddy cultivation this season.
Accordingly, as much as 49,000 hectares were used for paddy cultivation alone for samba (the largest area used for paddy cultivation in the past five to six years). Apart from the Andhra Ponni variety, all other varieties gave a decent harvest.
Farmers were able to get an average of 4.2 metric tonnes per hectare this season. In the overall foodgrain cultivation target, paddy alone achieved 2.05 lakh metric tonnes.” The official added that apart from paddy, both millet and pulses gave successful yields this season, Millet achieved an average yield of 4.33 metric tonnes per hectare and pulses about 0.8 metric tonnes this season in Tiruchy district.
Overall food grain cultivation was exceeded by over 30,000 metric tonnes. Subramanian, a farmer from Tiruchy, said though the farmers were able to get a bumper yield comparing to the previous season (farmers harvested 35 to 40 bags on average per hectare), due to reduced prices, farmers are slightly unhappy. Also, as much as 10,000 acres of Andra Ponni took a major hit this season which left some farmers in a fix.