Owing to strong wind, intense heat in Ramnad district
RAMANATHAPURAM: The cultivation of cucumber, which is mostly done in dried-up area in kanmois (tanks) and waterways of the Public Works Department in the district, has been badly hit due to strong wind and intense heat.
Though the crop is generally raised in summer period, there is no real season for the farmers living near kanmoi areas in Ramanathapuram district. They would simply raise cucumber except during rainy season by utilising the moisture content in the soil surface. For this, there is no need for them to possess own land. They would just take up cultivation in dried-up areas in kanmoi surface. Likewise, several farmers of R.S. Madai, Amman Koil and nearby areas have brought a large tract of Sakkarakottai kanmoi, which is one of the largest tanks in Ramanathapuram district, under cucumber cultivation.
As the crop period has entered into the 5th week, the farmers have started harvesting cucumber. But they have been disappointed as the volume of production is not up to the mark. According to farmers, an acre of cucumber cultivation would fetch Rs.25,000 to 30,000. But they express dismay that it will not cross even Rs.10,000 this year. They said strong wind and prevailing high temperature were the main reasons for the poor yield. Though the crop was in good condition, the strong wind had been dislodging flowers from the crop.
“Cucumber cannot withstand wind. But the wind blow is very strong for the last 10 days, making it difficult for the crop to keep the flowers intact. I should have harvested cucumber to the worth of at least Rs.5000 in the first phase of plucking. But it has not even crossed Rs.500,” says S. Pechimuthu of R.S. Madai. He said he earned Rs.50,000 by cultivating cucumber on two acres last year, as everything, including climate, water and others went on very well. By going by the present trend, he would end up in loss this year. M. Ayyakannu of Sakkarakottai was of the view that things could improve in the days to come, if the velocity of wind was reduced a little bit.