Agriculture official attributes the increase to fall in raising rice fallow pulses
The area under irrigated pulses cultivation has increased in the district. The normal area coverage was high last year too and irrigated pulses were raised on 11,702 hectares in April and May. “This year it is expected to go beyond 12,000 hectares,” said M.Z.Mohammed Yahiya, Joint Director of Agriculture.
He attributes the increase in irrigated pulses to the fall in raising rice fallow pulses, another kind of pulses crop. After machine harvest was introduced for paddy, a five-time increase in the yield in irrigated pulses was witnessed. T.Paramasivam, a farmer of Vanduvanchery village in Thiruvidaimaruthur block, has raised ADT5 black gram variety on nine acres of land. He says he will get 1,050 kilos per acre while normal yield in rice fallow pulses is only 200 to 300 kilos per acre.
According to G.Muthu Koori, Assistant Director of Thirupanandal block, there is a phenomenal increase in the irrigated pulses area in his block. “Compared to 208 hectares of irrigated pulses raised in the block last year, this year irrigated pulses have been raised so far on 980 hectares. We expect it to go up to 1,100 hectares.”
Chinnathambi, a 75-year-old farmer of Narikudi village in Thirupanandal block, said that he has raised irrigated pulses on two acres of land. He hopes to take 1400 kg of pulses per acre this year. Last year, he took 1380 kg of pulses.
Mr.Muthu Koori said that like the system of rice intensification (SRI) in paddy, now the system of pulses intensification has also been introduced by the government with the aim of increasing pulses production.
New methodology is also adopted in the cultivation and dippling method is followed. There are two types of dippling method - one is manual and another is using machines. In dippling, correct spacing and plant population is maintained. Seeds are sown on ridges and furrows. Mechanical weed management is also done by some farmers.
K.Nedunchezhiyan, assistant director, Kumbakonam block, said this year area under irrigated pulses has gone up to 600 hectares so far compared to 120 hectares last year. “Kumbakonam block suits well for raising irrigated pulses because the soil is sandy clay loam. Application of weedicide is more in this area which removes weeds and favours growth of pulses.
Farmers have opted for pulses because of water shortage. “For paddy, farmers require 1300 mm of water for one paddy crop. At the same time pulses require only 350 mm of water. Besides they get a good income in 65 to 70 days,” said Mr. Nedunchezhiyan.
G.Ramadoss, Deputy Director, Government of India Schemes, said that fertility of the soil would be increased due to fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by root nodules of pulses.