Farmers of Thanjavur have taken to capsicum cultivation in a big way, thanks to the National Horticulture Mission implemented by horticulture department. Capsicum used in eatables such as pizza, burger, and fried rice has a good market potential.
R.Manivannan, a farmer of Eachankottai village, has raised capsicum on 1000 sq mts in his R.R.Farm under high tech poly green house. Every alternate day we harvest capsicum and send it to Tiruchi market, he said. "We raise the seedlings in a poly tray using seeds given by horticulture department. Later the seedlings are planted. Yield starts after 55 days of planting. From seed to yield it takes 90 days. We harvest 150 to 200 kilos of capsicum every alternate day," Mr.Manivannan said. Each plant gives a yield of two kilos. The selling price was Rs.33 per kilo. Drip irrigation is done and fogger is used to maintain humidity. A met chamber indicates the temperature of the green house so that sprinkling water or irrigation can be taken up. M.Selvaraj, deputy director of horticulture, said that the department is giving Rs.215 per sq mt as subsidy. Mr.Manivannan has also raised chillies on another 1000 sq mt. Vallam branch of the Canara Bank has given a loan of Rs.20 lakh to Manivannan for raising capsicum and chillies.
R.V.Chary, senior manager of the bank, said that the bank was ready to help any farmer who is interested in raising crops such as capsicum.
Manivannan has also raised yellow and red capsicum for seed purpose. "We are doing integrated farming. Besides capsicum we have raised black gram, paddy, tissue culture banana, and a dairy farm. There are twelve milch animals now which gives 60 litres of milk per day. Mr.Selvaraj said that horticulture department has taken steps to increase the area under horticulture crops.
Cocoa has been raised on 300 hectares in Thanjavur district. Pepper has been raised as an intercrop in coconut groves in Peravurani area.Special Correspondent