The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Reddiyarchatram in Dindigul has achieved a milestone by increasing the yield manifold under open cultivation with plastic mulching and fertigation technology.
“This is the first yield from the centre and it has fetched a profit of Rs. 9 lakh. The crops in the centre would have yielded only 50 per cent profit if cultivated under normal conditions,” said a senior officer of the horticulture department. Tomato, chilli, brinjal, okra, ash-gourd and water melon were cultivated under mulching and fertigation (injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system) technology, which came from Israel.
On Friday, Dov Segev-Steinberg, Israel’s Acting Consul General in Bengaluru, visited the centre and appreciated the success achieved by Tamil Nadu scientists in a short span of time.
The centre was set up at a cost of Rs 10.18 crore by the State government in 2013.
Fully operational from January
It will be fully operational from January and train farmers in mulching, Net House and Poly House technology for cultivation.
While Poly House method is suitable for the hilly areas, Net House and mulching methods are ideal for plains.
“Farmers have already reaped the benefit of Poly House. They are able to produce 80 tonnes of cucumber from one acre,” said another official. Explaining how the high yield was achieved, he said the duration of tomato crop was increased from 135 days to 180 days under Mulching and Fertigation method.
“Net House will substantially reduce the use of pesticides. But the technology is useful only for self-pollinated plants,” he added.