The rise in temperature has wreaked havoc on agriculture sector, but farmers in Talavadi hills is feeling less heat as they are getting good price for the vegetables, mainly cabbage.
Favourable temperature in the hills has helped the farmers to cultivate cabbage, potato, carrot, beans, beetroot, lady’s finger, small onion and tomatoes in their land that vary from one acre to 2.5 acre.
Apart from this, marigold, tapioca, sugarcane and a few other crops are also cultivated in the hills. Traders procure the produce farm from the farmers and sell it at markets in Erode, Mettupalayam, Coimbatore and in Kerala.
Poor monsoon, prevailing intense heat and shortage of water led to drop in the cultivation areas, said S. Manickam, president of theTalavadi Farmers’ Association. He said that traders purchase vegetables from farmers at cabbage (Rs. 12 to Rs. 14 a kg), tomato (Rs. 28 to Rs. 30 a kg) and beans (Rs. 50 to Rs. 55 a kg). Crops are cultivated in less than 500 acre now, he added.
Cabbage is usually purchased for Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 a kg from the farmers. Later, they started cultivating alternative vegetables leading to drop in cabbage cultivation.
Gurusamy of Gumatapuram, who owns two acre, said that currently 25,000 cabbage plants were cultivated in his field and there is a good demand for the produce. “It is a 90-day crop and the climate is not conducive now.
After harvesting the crop now, we will start cultivating cabbage only during rainy season that begins from August”, he added.
Another farmer said that in the absence of check dams, rain water from the hills enter Chikkahole Dam in Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka.
“Five to seven small check dams were constructed without storage facilities and water from Neithalapuram easily enters the dam”, said V. Ramadurai of Susaipuram. He said that if rain water is stored, farming activities could be done throughout the year which will ensure the livelihood of farmers.
The hill has been receiving good rainfall in the past three days and farmers expressed hope for a good harvest season.