Knowledge centres to create awareness of latest technology

The State agriculture department has identified 25 villages in Pudukottai district as model villages under the World Bank-aided Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water bodies Restoration and Management (TN-IAMWARM) Project for implementing projects for the development of farming community.

Under the scheme, different departments such as public works department, agriculture, horticulture, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, fisheries, animal husbandry, agricultural engineering and agricultural marketing, will work together to help farmers use latest technology in every agricultural activity – from seed to marketing.

The objective is to develop the identified villages as models for other villages. The project will facilitate the opening of a Single Window Information and Knowledge Centre (SWIKC) to create awareness on latest technology among the farmers, said K. M. Shajahan, Joint Director of Agriculture, here.

Redgram transplantation scheme is implemented in the district in 210 hectares, for which the department has already allocated financial assistance. CORG – 7 (C) is a variety suitable for the district and seedlings are prepared in polythene bags.

A subsidy of Rs. 7,500 per hectare under the National Agricultural Development Programme (NADP) and Rs. 5,000 per hectare under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) is given to farmers.

Of the normal paddy area of 72,200 hectares in the district, 69,323 hectares has been brought under cultivation till last month. The farmers have also raised millets in 4,087 hectares, pulses in 1,087 hectares, sugarcane in 2,979 hectares, and oilseeds in 5,418 hectares.

The agricultural extension centres have stock of 169.11 metric tonnes of paddy seeds, 19.76 tonnes of pulses seeds, and 33.43 tonnes of oil seeds. Referring to the implementation of oil palm development scheme as a pilot project in the blocks of Gandarvakottai, Karambakudi, Aranthangi and Tiruvarangulam , the joint director advised farmers to contact the assistant director of agriculture of the respective blocks and enrol their names in the priority register for getting the benefits.

On the incidence of rice blast disease in samba , he said that the farmers can contact the agricultural extension centre for collecting pesticides at subsidised rates. Farmers could prepare cow dung solution and mix it with 200 litre of water and spray it on crops to control bacterial leaf blight disease, he said.