To enhance productivity of maize and pulses in the plains of Palar sub-basin in the district, the Department of Agriculture plans to set up a total of 130 demonstration plots, 565 vermin compost units and also distribute sprayers at an outlay of Rs. 53.49 lakh.
“The project cost will be taken from the corpus created under the World Bank-aided Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water-bodies Restoration and Management Project,” Joint Director of Agriculture S. Muthusamy told The Hindu .
Of the 130 demonstration plots, 110 would be for maize and 20 for pulses spread over select-blocks of Dharapuram, Gudimangalam, Kangeyam, Kundadam, Madathukulam, Palladam, Pongalur, Tirupur, Udumalpet and Vellakoil.
Each of the demonstration plots would be set up on an expanse of one hectare in farmers' holdings with the beneficiary farmer to be provided with kits containing hybrid seeds, bio fertilizers such as phospho- bacteria in packets and chemical fertilizers such as urea and Di-Ammonium Phosphate at subsidised rates.
Soil testing would be carried out at the demonstration plots by experts before the farmers start sowing.
“This is to help the farmers assess the requisite quantity of nutrients needed for ensuring high yield,” Mr Muthusamy said. The demo plots would act as a ‘practical guide' by itself for propagating irrigation service delivery and water management techniques.
For production of organic manure, earthworms were planned to be supplied with the 565 portable vermin compost units, each of 15 ft X five ft X three ft in size.
In the case of sprayers, both hand-operated and power-operated equipment would be given to the farmers at 50 per cent subsidy.
“At present, we plan to distribute 73 hand-operated and 45 power-operated sprayers to spray fertilizers and nutrient mixtures,” Mr. Muthusamy said.