M. Balaganessin

TIRUCHI: The Horticulture Department will implement a special plan to popularise bamboo cultivation in nine blocks in Tiruchi district during the current financial year under the ‘National Bamboo Mission’ project.

Farmers will be motivated and trained to take to bamboo cultivation which fetches an assured returns, the Deputy Director of Horticulture, S. Robert Vincent, said here on Friday.

He said that a total extent of 75 hectares would be brought under bamboo cultivation in nine blocks including Tiruverumbur, Andanallur, Manapparai, Manachanallur, Manikandam, Thottiyam, Musiri, Thataiyengarpettai, Uppliapuram at an expenditure of Rs.16.45 lakh.

He said that awareness programmes had already been initiated in parts of these blocks explaining to the farmers the advantages of this more prospective and profit-oriented cultivation over the conventional practices. Farmers would be exposed to two types of training on cultivating bamboo.

In the initial phase, they would be exposed to the cultivation within Tamil Nadu and later, outside the State. Every minute care about protection of bamboo from the attack of pests and disease would be explained to them. Emphasis would also be on optimum use of available irrigational waters through micro irrigation techniques. Issue of coloured brochures and leaflets would be an attraction for beginners to understand the different stages of bamboo during its growth. Certification of planting materials would guarantee an assured return to the farmers, he said.

To motivate farmers all over Tamil Nadu, a State-level conference on bamboo cultivation would be held in Tiruchi by the end of July, he added.