In stark contrast to the drought-like conditions that prevailed last year, Perambalur district now presents a picture of verdant fields. Agricultural activity has been brisk for the past few months, thanks to good and timely monsoon.
The district, which is largely dependent on ground water table and rain, has witnessed a sharp decline in agricultural activity owing to successive failure of monsoons over the past few years. Most open wells in the district have gone dry and so have many borewells.
With four tanks, including the Arumbavur big and small, Varagupady and Vadakalur tanks, reaching their full capacity storage, farmers are extremely happy. Poor rainfall had left these and many other tanks dry, leaving farmers in distress.
“We are happy that there has been good rain and inflow to tanks in the district. Normally, about 1.20 lakh hectares is covered under various crops in the district. This year, we are confident of achieving the figure,” says R.Sudarshan, Joint Director of Agriculture.
This is a far cry from the drought-like conditions that the district had witnessed due to poor rainfall.
The district is a major producer of maize, cotton and small onions, and most farmers have taken to these crops this year too. Maize has been raised on about 41,998 hectares (ha) so far against the normal average of 45,000 ha. The area under cotton cultivation has witnessed a sharp increase this year. Cotton has been raised on about 33,492 ha so far against the normal area of 28,500 ha.
Small onions, despite the price fluctuations remains a popular option for farmers in the district and the crop has been raised in about 5,993 ha so far against the normal average of 6,850 ha, Mr.Sudarshan said.
Farmers in areas where the water table is good have raised samba paddy, tapping water from open or borewells. Samba paddy has been raised in about 6,185 ha in the district so far and nurseries are available to cover another 3,000 ha. “The transplantation will be fully completed within the next few days and the normal area will be covered,” said Mr.Sudarshan.
Cholam, cumbu, varagu, blackgram, redgram and groundnut are some of the other crops raised in the district.