R. Vimal Kumar

Plan to conduct an array of sensitisation programme

Farmers will be taught the raising and technical aspects of jatropha farming

They will be educated on aspects like digging bore well and disc ploughing

Tirupur: Promotion of methods to develop wasteland and subsequently take up large scale cultivation of jatropha on it will be on the top of the priority list for the Department of Agriculture in Tirupur district during the current financial year (2010-11).

The cultivation of jatropha, which is presently at a nascent stage in the district (only 27 ha is now under jatropha in the entire district), will gain the much-needed thrust when the action plan conceptualised by the department gets going. Official sources told The Hindu that it was planned to conduct an array of sensitisation programmes to create awareness among the farmers on the benefits of jatropha cultivation.

With bio-fuel programmes gaining prominence, the farmers could look forward to reap huge benefits from the cultivation of jatropha since its seeds are in great demand for the production of bio-diesel. The bio-fuel produced from the jatropha seeds was used to run diesel locomotives, and the by product, glycerol, which comes out in the bio-diesel production process, was widely used in cosmetic industry.

Prior to launch of large scale cultivation, the farmers would be taught the raising and technical aspects of jatropha farming with adequate emphasis on the species which are ideal for the soil and climatic conditions prevailing in the district.

Besides, they would also be educated on aspects like digging borewell, disc ploughing, application of manure and initial watering of developed land.

Experts opined that about 2,500 kilogram of seeds could be obtained from an acre of land containing 1,000 plants, if the area was supplemented with artificial irrigation, and about 1,000 kilogram of per acre from the areas where it remained rain-fed.

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