Staff Reporter

Training is imparted to 400-odd farmers in Erode district

Erode: Agricultural Marketing Department and Agri Business, Chennai, conducted a four-day special training programme for amla (Gooseberry) farmers at Erode. They were asked to produce value-added products to popularise the fruit.

Growing importance

On the final day on Friday more than 100 farmers participated and were provided with training by agriculture and horticulture resource persons. "Realising the growing importance of amla, training is imparted to 400-odd farmers in Erode district," the organisers said.

The fruit has nutritional medicinal and cosmetic values. They said the fruit got much popularity among all walks of life and it has been used in alternative treatment.

The organisers said the training focused on a holistic approach. Many bankers who attended the meeting have expressed willingness to grant necessary loans. Scientists and research scholars also encouraged the farmers for amla cultivation as it required minimum water. It could be raised in dry tracts too.

A veteran farmer at Pudukuiyanure village near Sathyamangalam, Ramanathan, said he had been cultivating amla for many years. "I am getting a good yield." He asked the farmers to raise the crop in their dry lands and earn a good revenue.

Erode Marketing Committee secretary D. Ganesan presided. Agricultural officer from Chennai Arivalagan explained in detail about the department's role in assisting the farmers in amla cultivation. He said under the National Horticulture Mission, several schemes were introduced for amla cultivation.

A mini expo on amla cultivation, converting the fruit into value-added products and the potentials for the export was also conducted.

Horticulture Mission

P. Anbarassan of Muthur said he was marketing the amla powder and was planning to export amla pickles, amla juice and amla powder to other countries.

At present, the crop has been raised in Thalawady, Sathyamangalam, Gobichettipalayam, Kangeyam and Vellakoil area in over 176 hectares of land and the yield per hectare was around 25 tonnes per hectare.