TIRUCHI: Sensing the need for providing alternative cropping pattern with an assured return to farmers in the delta region in the absence of poor storage position in the Mettur, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Sirugamani near here will popularise sunflower cultivation.
To motivate the conventional paddy cultivators to switch over to sunflower, the KVK will set up demonstration plots at 50 sites, each on an acre of land, the Professor and Head of KVK, S. P. Ramanathan, said.
Speaking at a meeting of bio-farmers held at Sirugamani on Sunday, Mr. Ramanathan said that the demonstration plots would be set up in Manikandam, Thuraiyur, Manapparai and Musiri.
The introduction of sunflower as an alternative crop had been necessitated following the delay in the setting in of the monsoon.
Although farmers would skip the conventional ‘kuruvai,’ they would be able to raise late ‘samba’, he said.
The Tamil Nadu Coimbatore Sunflower Hybrid1 (TNCH-1) would be raised on the demonstration plots. Explaining the advantages of this variety, he said since its seeds would were invisible and remained covered within the flower, it was free from bird menace – a major problem sunflower growers faced.
The KVK would adopt site-specific cultivation management techniques. Soil samples had already been collected and remedial measures suggested to enhance the nutrient and fertility of soil.
Interaction with ryots
The Director of Agriculture, S. Kosalraman, earlier interacted with the farmers and ascertained the bio-farming techniques they have been adopting. He also went around the KVK and made enquiries about the various facilities, extension services, training programmes etc provided for the benefit of the farming community.