"Farmers should adopt modern agriculture practices and latest technologies to boost production and enhance income. They should act as campaigners and spread new technologies to other farmers in their respective areas," said Joint Director of Agriculture N.T. Sampath Kumar.

He was presiding over technology propagation meeting meant for the farmers raising crops in Rabi season held at Balasamudram village near here on Wednesday.

Catalysts

“Agri-officials will act as catalysts, assisting farmers in crop protection, better yield and post harvest management. We have chosen a farmer in each model village as a farmer friend to propagate technologies and innovation among other farmers in the village for special schemes. Farmers could use their services at model villages,” he said.

Scale down seeds

"Raising paddy seedlings in trays would scale down the quantum of paddy seeds used for raising nurseries to two kg from 30 kg under traditional method and occupy less space. Moreover, farmers could prepare the field for transplantation simultaneously. Transplantation by machine would ensure uniform planting with even space between seedlings. It would improve air circulation and prevent growth of weeds. Cono-weeders could be used to destroy weeds," he pointed out.

"Number of tillers in each plant would be more. Soil testing was a must before cultivation as condition of soil alone would determine fertilizers use. Excessive use of fertilizers would erode soil and lessen the nutrient-levels. Quality of grains would also be good if the farmers used minimum amount of fertilizers. Colour card given to farmers would help farmers choose the quantum of type of fertilizers. Drip irrigation was need of the hour to cover more area with less availability of water. Farmers had the freedom to choose agri-inputs. The government would release back end subsidy," he advised.

Earlier, Palani MLA K.S.N. Venugopalu distributed agriculture inputs worth Rs.3.5 lakh to beneficiaries. Farm equipment like cone-weeder were also offered to farmers.