Cocoa cultivation as inter crop in grown-up coconut garden can boost the income of farmers of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur district, said P. Kalaiselvan, director of extension education, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), at Nidamagalam recently.
After inaugurating a seminar on cocoa cultivation as inter crop in grown-up coconut garden at KVK at Nidamangalam, Mr. Kalaiselvan said marketing the cocoa beans is not a problem. The Cadbury's India Ltd has signed an MoU with the State government to procure cocoa beans from the farmers at market price. The cocoa can give income up to Rs. 60,000 per acre.
B.Chandrasekaran, professor and head, Soil and Water Management Research Institute, said intercropping in any primary crop would add advantages of effective utilisation of inter space, moisture and nutrients besides getting additional income and soil conservation.
'“Main crop and inter crop will not fight for space, water and nutrients, but give complementary effect to each other thus making the crop profitable.” He suggested that the delta farmers go for cultivation of cocoa as inter crop in grown up coconut garden which has 60 per cent shade as India imports cocoa beans from other countries.
T.Senguttuvan, professor and head, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Nidamangalam, said cocoa is said to be the ‘angel of coconut garden'. It is an ideal crop for inter cropping in coconut garden.
N.Sampath Kumar, Deputy Director of Agri Business, C.Srinivasan, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Tiruvarur, and K.Kumanan, Asisstant Director of Horticulture, handled the session on cultivation, post harvest management and marketing.Special Correspondent