: Red gram cultivation is proving to be a viable alternative crop for farmers reeling under crop loss due to drought in the district.
Farmers from Vadipatti block have availed of opportunities under the centrally funded Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) project.
Deputy Director (Agriculture) S. Kanagaraj told The Hindu here on Thursday that through “vayal vizha” (field festival), the farmers were given an exposure to red gram cultivation techniques.
In a changing scenario, alternative crops are the only option to keep the soil fertile and farmers busy. Red gram required minimal water and drip irrigation produced a high yield, Mr. Kanagaraj pointed out. A farmer, Ayyankalai of Sanampatti in Vadipatti taluk, said that he had raised red gram on 1.5 acres in November and harvested a net 948 kilograms per acre, which is considered a high yield for a maiden venture, the official said and added that a tonne of red gram was selling at Rs.30,000.
Assuming that a farmer invests Rs.15,000 per acre, he gets a return of Rs.15,000 over a period of 150 days.
There is a good market for red gram in Virudhunagar and Oddanchatram (Dindigul district).
In a changing scenario, alternative crops are the only option to keep the soil fertile and