In a bid to acquaint themselves with various techniques used in growing horticulture crops, about 200 farmers from Madurai district left for Kerala on a week-long tour on Tuesday.

Flagging off the convoy, Collector C. Kamaraj said that under the national horticulture programme, farmers were being taken on a tour for an on-the-spot study. They would be visiting horticultural gardens, model farms; horticultural research centres and interact with successful farmers in the region.

The Horticulture Department would bear the entire cost of the tour. Last year, the farmers visited places in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, a press release said. Besides other States, the farmers were also being taken to other districts every year.

During the present tour, the farmers would visit farms at Udumalpet and learn about drip irrigation system, visit the Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur, besides Thiruvananthapuram and learn about techniques adopted in growing orchids, cocoa and coconut varieties. Horticulture Deputy Director S. Krishnasamy and Assistant Director G. Boopathi among others accompanied the farmers, the release added.