Though paddy farmers in the district were dejected over a poor yield during last season, those who raised chilli this season have reasons to be happy following a good yield.

Chilli is the second major crop after paddy in Ramanathapuram district. As per official records, more than 21,000 hectares have been brought under chilli crop this year. It has been raised on an average of 3,000 hectares in Kamudhi, Kadaladi, Mudukulathur and Paramakudi blocks. Farmers of Thiruvadanai, Thiruppullani and Ramanathapuram have also raised chilli in few hundred hectares. Though there were reports that pest attack dampened the spirit of chilli farmers in a few areas, the current report has indicated that the yield is better than last year.

The current yield is estimated at 350 kg per hectare as against the average yield of 400 kg per hectare. It is estimated that farmers had been getting 75 percent of average yield. “If the farmers get 50 percent more than the average, we term it as a good yield. Reports from different parts of the district have indicated that farmers are getting more than 75 percent of the average yield,” said S. Rajendran, Deputy Director of Horticulture. The yield in Kamudhi, Kadaladi and Paramakudi were relatively good.

The chilli crop could be successfully raised with less water. The important factor was that the field should have moisture content but it should not be flooded for more than four or five days. The chilli crop was successful this year as almost all factors, including rain, were good this year. However, farmers who raised chilli in low-lying areas said that the yield was poor due to water stagnation for a few weeks in January.

A. Sathiah of R. Kavanur said he could not get a good yield due to water stagnation for a few days as his field was situated in a low-lying area. Against nine bags of chilli in his half-acre field, he harvested just four bags.

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