NAGAPATTINAM: The agriculture department has ventured into mass cultivation of marigold (Saamanthi Poo) in the district following the success of the pilot project on one acre of land in Kollidam block, which is deemed unfavourable for floriculture. This was an initiative to provide farmers an alternative for other crops and also a profitable business. Farmers usually take up paddy, cotton, pulses and cash crop like cashew cultivation in Kollidam. In case of horticulture crops, it is mainly coconuts and casuarina. Only in Vedaranyam block, one can find flowers such as jasmines being cultivated on about 2,000 acres.
“Marigold can be a good alternative crop. It was earlier done only on few cents” said S Subbaiyan, assistant director of the agriculture department. With the flower blooming every 45 days, officials said that it could well boost the floriculture in the district.
The initiative was based on the experiment on a farmer’s field. J Ravisankar (53), at Nadhalpadugai in Kollidam. Around 10,000 saplings were planted on his one acre of land (black soil) in Thandachanallur near Achalpuram. He reaped tonnes of yield.