To grant approval after new government takes charge

The Horticulture Department, in all likelihood, is planning to extend support for banana cultivation for the current financial year in the district.

The regional office here has sent a proposal in this regard to the Department headquarters in Chennai seeking increase in cultivation area under the programme to support banana.

Sources say they have asked the area to be increased to 1,750 ha for the 2011-12 financial year. Last year, the department supported the crop on 1,000 ha.

They say that as and when the Coimbatore office gets the approval, the Department will provide inputs worth nearly Rs. 17,000 for every hectare of banana for a maximum of 1,750 hectares cultivated in the district.

The inputs will be in the form of fertilizers like azospirillum, phospo-bacteria, NPK 19, pseudomonas, trichoderma viride, etc. The department gives this at no cost to the farmers.

In providing the inputs free of cost, the department will incur an expenditure of Rs. 2.95 crore.

Though farmers across the district cultivate banana, the crop is concentrated in Karamadai, Annur and Pollachi. Poovan, nenthran, moris, kathali, G9 (tissue culture plant) and almost all local varieties are cultivated.

October-November is the planting season. The harvest starts a year later. As many as 2,250 trees can be cultivated on a hectare. If it is high-density cultivation, the number of trees goes up.

Under the National Agriculture Development Plan scheme, the Coimbatore office has brought 52 hectares banana under drip irrigation, providing a subsidy of Rs. 46,000 a hectare. Of the 52 hectares, 15 hectares have been clubbed into cluster in a village near Karamadai.

Apart from banana, the Coimbatore office has also asked for increased allotment to extend support to farmers cultivating grape, pineapple, guava, mango, cut flowers, and spices.

The sources say the Department will grant approval by the end of May or June after the new government takes charge.

More In: Coimbatore