Drip irrigation has been gaining popularity among the farmers of interior villages who were hitherto hamstrung by poor irrigation facilities.
The Horticulture and Agriculture Departments have planned to cover about 600 hectares of land under drip irrigation through a subsidy-based scheme under the National Micro Irrigation Mission.
Villages in and around Kattuputhur and Murungai in Thottiyam block are some of the major areas where the drip irrigation scheme is being implemented with the active support of farmers.
Several farmers have raised multiple crops using drip irrigation in the villages. M.Yasodha, a farmer of Chinnapallipalayam near Kattuputhur, said that she had cultivated banana, sugarcane, and tapioca in about two acres of land.
Previously, the fields were irrigated twice a week, now, however, it’s enough for me to irrigate them once in a week, she said.
Drip irrigation helps her to utilise the available water optimally and helps to keep weeds under check. “Excessive irrigation often leads to growth of unwanted weeds,” she pointed out.
Murugesan, another farmer, said that apart from minimising the cultivation cost, drip irrigation would help improve crop yield by 20 to 40 per cent.
Excessive use of fertilizers could also be avoided, he said. Officials said that there has been an overwhelming response to the drip irrigation programme in the district.
The quantum of water used for irrigating one acre of land under the conventional system could now be used for irrigating a minimum area of three acres of land, the sources added.