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Updated: July 11, 2012 11:15 IST

Showers fail to raise hope of horticulture farmers

G. Sathyamoorthi
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WAITING FOR BOUNTY: Horticulture crops would benefit if rain was to lash
rural areas as predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department. Photo: M.Srinath
The Hindu WAITING FOR BOUNTY: Horticulture crops would benefit if rain was to lash rural areas as predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department. Photo: M.Srinath

Official sources described the Monday rains as "disappointing" as it was only a part of the Tiruchi city which was drenched, not even parts like K.K.Nagar, etc.

Though the rains that lashed the district on Monday were not widespread, official sources are confident of a conducive climate for horticultural crops if the region were to have a couple of more showers.

Official sources described the Monday rains as “disappointing” as it was only a part of the Tiruchi city which was drenched, not even parts like K.K.Nagar, etc.

However, they feel that many horticultural crops would stand to benefit if the rains were to lash the rural areas soon now that the Indian Meteorological Department has forecast copious showers in the next couple of weeks in the peninsular region.

They point out that while banana is raised in about 9,000 hectares in the district, tapioca is the next major crop in about 6,000 hectares.

While small onion is raised in 3,000 hectares, other vegetables, including brinjal, tomato, snake gourd and drum sticks, are raised in total in about 500 hectares, lime in 1,000 hectares and chillies in 2,000 hectares.

Among the fruits, mango is raised in about 2,000 hectares including in Marungapuri, Vaiyampatti, Manapparai, Andanallur, Lalgudi, and Manikandam regions. Of them Marungapuri alone could be considered rainfed area while the rest are part of the delta region. Major varieties raised are Himampasand, Banganapalli, Kallani, Neelam, etc.

Besides, the red and loamy soil in many parts of the district offer tremendous scope for floriculture cultivation, Already farmers have started switching over to floriculture from traditional crops like paddy and sugarcane.

The major flower in the district is jasmine in about 300 to 400 hectares followed by tuberose (sampangi), crossandra (kanakambaram), rose and chrysanthemum (samanthi).

The major areas where floriculture has become an important means of livelihood are Tiruchi, Manapparai, Musiri, Thuraiyur and Srirangam.Though the total area under flower cultivation is not much, the total turnover is said to be around Rs 20 crore even as early as 1998, according to the District Gazeteer. About 10,000 families, mostly owning less than one hectare, are engaged in flower cultivation in the district.

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