Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: With the objective of augmenting vegetable production in the district in near future, the Department of Horticulture has launched village-level vegetable seed distribution campaigns under Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme.

Since most of the farmers here used to dedicate a portion of their farms for vegetable cultivation even as major portion is devoted for ‘kar’ paddy farming, the Department of Horticulture started the village-level vegetable seed distribution. One such programme was recently conducted at Keezha Thidiyoor in Palayamkottai block, which was presided over by Panchayat Union Councillor V. Balasubramaniam, followed by another similar programme at Krishnapuram on the Tirunelveli–Tiruchendur Road.

M. Ramachandran, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Palayamkottai, said high-yielding vegetable seeds like KKM-1 brinjal were being procured from Agricultural College and Research Institute, Killikulam in Tuticorin district and distributed to the farmers. These seeds are tested for their germination percentage before distribution so that the quality of the seeds is ensured before it reaches the hands of farmers.

S. Raja Mohamed, Horticultural Officer, Palayamkottai explains the manner in which the vegetable seeds are distributed to the beneficiaries.

“When we conducted the campaign at Keezha Thidiyoor, the field staff of Horticulture Department was assembled at 6 a.m. before the farmers left for their fields for the routine farming operations. Within an hour, nearly 7 Kg of seeds were distributed to 35 farmers assembled in front of the panchayat office,” he said.

Since the district administration has proposed to establish an ‘Uzhavar Sandhai’ at Melapalayam in near future, farmers of the neighbouring areas like Keezha Thidiyoor can sell their produce in the farmers’ market without much difficulty, it is expected.