Rice fallow pulses boost farmers’ income

By TheHindu on 03 Mar 2017 | read

Paddy growers in Cumbum valley have successfully harvested rice fallow pulses, third crop in a year, thanks to summer rain in the last month.

They had raised green gram in lands where they harvested paddy, the second crop in the valley.

Summer rain had kept the paddy field wet after harvest, which was sufficient to raise the third crop. “To capitalise on the summer rain, we had recommended fallow pulses to farmers in Cumbum valley,” said agriculture officials. Department of Agriculture had distributed certified seeds to 146 farmers in Kuchanur block.

“I had sown green gram 10 days after harvesting paddy in my field. Wetness in the field helped grow pulses. After 75 or 80 days, the crop was ready for harvest. The total expenses were not much. On the whole, I had spent around Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 per acre. On an average, the yield per acre was 300 to 350 kg and it fetched an income of around Rs.18,000 to Rs.20,000 per acre, says S. Muthuvel, a small farmer having 1.5 acres of land in Chinnamnur.

The department promoted pulses cultivation under National Food Security Mission and seed village concept. Subsidies were given to farmers for seeds and other inputs. Maintaining the farm was their only job to get a better yield. Green gram was a promising post-wet-season crop, said Joint Director of Agriculture V. Venkatakrishnan.

Farmers had raised GG 912 variety of pulses in the valley.

The summer rain was a blessing to farmers even though it affected paddy harvest in many areas. Farmers had completed harvesting paddy in 45,000 acres and taken up green gram cultivation, the third crop in a year.

Pulses cultivation not only provided extra income but also helped farmers enrich soil nutrition. They need not raise legumes in summer before ploughing for raising paddy. After the pulses were harvested, these plants decompose and increase the nitrogen content in soil. When the farmers raise paddy, the nutrient-rich soil will enhance the paddy yield during the next season, Deputy Director of Agriculture Chinraj pointed out.

With little expenses, the farmers get around Rs.18,000 per acre. Rice fallow pulses is a source of additional income to them. Farmers need not take any extra care to raise the crop. No fertilizers were required and not much water as also needed for irrigation, said Deputy Director of Agriculture S. Muthiah.