Tamil Nadu

Farmers producing bio-agents gaining attention

Biological agents production unit set up by a group of farmers at Kunnathur in Tirupur district.— Photo: R. VIMAL KUMAR  

A group formed by 13 farmers at Kunnathur to promote value-addition to farm incomes is gaining attention as they are now successful commercial producers of bio-agents necessary for promotion of organic farming.

Unit

V. Sreenivasan (40) and 12 other progressive farmers, who were raising vegetables, turmeric, pulses and a few other crops on a total area of 150 acres in the area, came together to set up the unit for producing biological agents namely Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma viride with an initial capital of Rs. 5 lakh.

Of the expenditure, Rs. 1.25 lakh was obtained as subsidy extended by the Department of Agriculture from the corpus created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

They are now producing nearly 20 tonnes of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma viride a year.

Responsibility

But what made the farmers venture into the production of biological agents, which, according to Agriculture Department officials, is a lesser explored terrain at the village/farm level.

“At one point of time, we felt it as a responsibility to protect the earth from getting contaminated by the excessive use of chemicals to control/prevent insects, diseases and pests.

“For that, we thought that the bio-agents can be the best alternative and hence, the unit to produce high quality products,” Mr. Sreenivasan said.

K. Arasappan, Assistant Director of Agriculture, pointed out that pesticide residual toxicity, which was a big problem in vegetables and fruits, could be overcome by use of these types of bio-agents.

“It can be used for seed treatment and soil application,” he said.

As a recognition to the quality, the bio-agents produced by them are now being purchased by farmers from different parts of the State as well as by the Department of Agriculture.



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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 5:08:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-producing-bioagents-gaining-attention/article7990012.ece

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