The Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute (AEC&RI), Kumulur, has advised farmers to create farm ponds immediately in their fields to tackle problems posed by excess or deficient rainfall.

Rainwater harvesting and its efficient utilisation were a viable alternative for successful farming, especially in rain-fed areas of Tiruchi and Perambalur districts.

However, farm ponds had been an integral part of farming system not only in rain-fed areas but also in wetlands in Tamil Nadu.

Although water had been released in the Cauvery and irrigation canals for samba season, water-logging could pose a problem if there were to be above normal rainfall in October and November.

If the rainfall was below normal, plants could face drought at flowering or maturity stage.

To tackle the problem, farm ponds could be created immediately on the fields and it would help in an overall increase in rice production.

The ponds would help harvest rainwater, if in excess and recycle the stored water when there was water scarcity, K. Ramaswamy, Dean of the college, said in a press release.

This would help farmers go in for another pulse crop using sprinkler irrigation system using the water available in the farm ponds in both delta and non-delta areas.

The AEC&RI, which was part of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, has created five farm ponds and had planned to create 10 more in coordination with Pullampadi block officials under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Scientists at the institute are working on creating a 25-acre model demonstration farm on complete mechanisation of paddy cultivation, he added.