R. Vimal Kumar
Under an integrated development programme Demonstration plots have been planned in Tiruchendur, Udangudi and Sattankulam taluks
Tuticorin: The Department of Agriculture plans to implement Integrated Coconut Development Programme in the district on an outlay of Rs 9.78 lakh, utilising funds allocated by the Coconut Development Board, Government of India, which has its headquarters at Kochi in Kerala.
Speaking to The Hindu , S. Shahul Hameed, Joint-Director of Agriculture, said the aim was to augment the production and productivity of coconut plantation through an integrated approach and increase the net income from unit holdings.
During the last financial year, coconut was raised on 6,049 hectares in the district. Three organic manure units would be established in the district two units were coming up in the Tiruchendur Taluk and the third one in the Sattankulam taluk. Use of vermi-compost, coir pith compost and farmyard manure in coconut holdings would be encouraged. "For each unit, an one-time assistance of Rs. 20,000 or 50 percent of the cost, whichever is less, will be given to the farmers," Mr Hameed said.
An incentive for removal of diseases such as root wilt, ganoderma etc., for a total of 100 disease-affected trees, at the rate of Rs. 250 per tree would be given.
"This assistance will be a boon to the farmers to manage the diseases, which affect the yield," he said. On the other features of the scheme, he said 25 plots, each having a maximum area of one hectare, would be identified as `demonstration plots.' Owners of these plots would be encouraged to adopt result-oriented production methods.
"Latest farming technique adopted at these plots will act as a catalyst for other farmers to learn and practice it at their farm," Mr Hameed said.
Demonstration plots have been planned in Tiruchendur, Udangudi and Sattankulam taluks. "An assistance of Rs. 17,500 each would be given to prepare demonstration plot," Mr. Hameed added.