R. Vimal Kumar
Precision farming brings cheer to farmers in Tirupur
Tirupur: S. Jaganathan (59), M.Palanisamy (61) and C. Kittusamy (59), are some of the progressive farmers in Tirupur block sporting broadly smiles as their quest for transformation from productive agriculture to profitable agriculture have started yielding desiring results. They credit the change in the fortunes to adoption of precision farming techniques after them being enthused to take up the practice by the Horticulture department during a campaign conducted in the block few months ago under the Centre-sponsored Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
“Productivity has almost doubled and profitability increased by about 35 percent vis-À-vis conventional techniques since precision farming methodology demands less manpower and help the plants develop effective root system needed for enhanced yield,” Mr. Kittusamy, told The Hindu.
Mr. Kittusamy has brought onion as the primary crop and maize as the second crop, over a hectare, under the precision farming at his farm at Kovilvazhi during the season.
Under the scheme, the department extended subsidy assistance to help the beneficiaries set up drip and fertigation systems besides distributing water soluable fertilizers like mono ammounium phosphate and N:P:K 19:19:19 worth Rs 25,000 free to each of the farmers covered.
For Mr. Jaganathan, who has been cultivating turmeric, onion, tomato and chillies at Muthanampalayam village for the last 30 years, the adoption of precision farming method had increased his operational efficiency considerably. “With input costs trending higher and labour shortage becoming severe owing to migration of agricultural labourers into textile and other industrial sectors seeking better remuneration, the tools offered by precision agriculture come in handy for us to have a uniform field stand of crops that increases the yield by about 50 per cent,” he pointed out.
Mr. Palanisamy said that the produce from precision farming had been found to better in quality and commands premium rates in the market.
P. Santhanakrishnan, Assistant Director of Horticulture, said that the department has chalked out plans to take the technology to more farmers by taking them out on exposure visits to farms where precession farming had yielded better dividends.