STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Tamil Nadu: Kolli Hills' farmers urge government to introduce more pepper varieties for better yield

Despite horticulture officials’ efforts to expand the area of cultivation of pepper, the farmers feel introducing more varieties would be of great help while competing with States like Kerala.

Published: 23rd November 2021 01:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2021 01:59 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers, Agriculture

Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

NAMAKKAL: If you have traversed the multiple, beautiful hairpin bends of Kolli Hills and managed to get a bird’s eye from the top, you would know how crucial black pepper cultivation is to the hill station.  
This perennial crop is cultivated in 2,000 hectares atop the hills. Now, farmers cultivating pepper have urged the government to introduce new pepper varieties which would give more yield, apart from reducing the production cost.

Despite horticulture officials’ efforts to expand the area of cultivation of pepper, the farmers feel introducing more varieties would be of great help while competing with States like Kerala in production.
Speaking with TNIE, 60-year-old farmer cum retired agriculture official R Varadharaju, who cultivated pepper in his 25-acre land, said, "Till now, we are utilising the Panniyur -1 variety. Whereas, Kerala has already developed many varieties like Panniyur 1 to 10, Aswathi, Suvarna, Karikonta, that give more yield and reduce production cost."

“This apart, the upgraded Panniyur varieties grow well amid drought and grow better in shade. So, the horticulture department should take steps to bring new pepper varieties here," he urged.

Varadharaju pointed out that despite a good bout of rains in April and May this year, the yield was poor. He attributed this to the hike in price.  “Now, the price of pepper stands at Rs 550 per kg when it was Rs 350 in the past. In the upcoming days, the price can go up to Rs 800."

Another farmer K Balasubramani said recently he travelled to Kerala and purchased 200 pepper seedlings of new varieties and planted them back in Kolli Hills. He added that he was unaware of how the yield would turn out since it was his first time trying a different variety of pepper. Excited, he said the crops have already started flowering.

Farmers have also started cardamom cultivation in the hill recently. Balasubramani said, “If the government extends its helping hands for these kinds of growers by implementing schemes it will be helpful.”

Namakkal Deputy Director of Horticulture (DD) K Ganesan said, "A few farmers are only interested with new varieties of pepper. But, the existing variety's quality is superior and that is why we have not brought them. However, we could introduce new ones based on their requests.” The DD also assured the farmers to send proposals for cardamom farmers. 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp