Farmers, not only in the delta region, but even in other places could immediately go in for gingili as “Masi pattam” is the ideal season for the crop, says Kapisthalam R.Ramanathan, veteran farmer and a close friend of G.K.Moopanar, founder of the Tamil Maanila Congress.
Mr.Ramanathan, who has been into agriculture since 1953, told The Hindu “Masi pattam starts on Wednesday. Farmers have no reason to be distraught over samba crop loss. Those who have already harvested could immediately start operations for raising gingili with the available moisture in the soil as it fetches Rs.90 a kilogram at present. This is a price I have never heard in my lifetime,” he adds.
While he could get 280 kg yield per acre under rain-fed conditions, Mr.Ramanathan says that anyone raising the same in irrigated conditions using proper agronomy practices would be able to get not less than 400 kg.
After sowing, it may not require water even for 15 to 20 days. Thereafter it would need a couple of wettings.
At the same time, he admits that the risk factor is groundwater and it is for the farmer to decide on that.
Meanwhile, even the summer rains could be of help to this crop.
Mr.Ramanathan says even short-duration summer cotton could be raised now and there are any numbers of varieties available.
Though nothing much could be done during Panguni, Chithriai pattam (from April) would be ideal for raising green gram, black gram, cholam, and other millets.
The farmers who are sure of groundwater potential and who are raising cash crops alone are prosperous. “And there is a vast scope for such crops,” he added.