Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has presented proposals to the Agriculture Minister for increasing the yield of 19 crops.

Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Boopathi told The Hindu that the critical technologies to increase yield of crops were presented to K.A. Sengottaiyan on Tuesday in Chennai.

The crops that would be covered were paddy, maize, black gram, green gram, red gram, groundnut, gingelly, sunflower, sugarcane, mango, banana, turmeric, chilli, cashew, tapioca, onion, tomato, brinjal and cotton.

“Though there are various technologies, crop varieties and improved machinery brought out by the university, there was still a felt need for increasing yield in these crops. Hence critical technologies, exclusive for each crop, have been proposed to the Minister for implementation,” he said.

The new technologies, when implemented, are expected to increase the yield manifold that could go up to several tonnes a hectare.

The Minister had assured the Vice-Chancellor that extension officers in various blocks would be used to reach the technologies to the farmers. Mr. Boopathi said the Minister was informed of the proposal to transfer technology of the ‘ANNA 4' rice variety to private seed companies. Use of this variety was responsible for 3.7 tonne / hectare yield as against the 1.2 tonne / hectare using conventional seed varieties.

Accordingly, the university planned to invite various seed companies on May 26 to hand over the nuclear seeds of the variety for commercialisation.

“At present, there are only 2.5 tonne seeds of this variety available with the university. This is not enough to reach all farmers. Hence, the seed companies are being involved to enhance the reach,” he said.

There was a forecast of early onset of the South-West monsoon. This had given rise to expectations of an early release of water from the Mettur Dam. If this happened, it was expected that the farmer would get maximum yield from the Kharif crop that would be sown during this period, the Vice-Chancellor added.