“Sugarcane harvesters increase yield”

By TheHindu on 07 May 2017 | read

Staff Reporter

Subsidy of Rs.65,000 per ha provided for precision farming

Under National Agricultural Development Project, over Rs. 4 crore allotted for about 4,000 demonstrations to augment pulses production.

The technology of precision farming was introduced with Israel’s support in Dharmapuri.

NAGAPATTINAM: Drip-irrigated precision farming along with use of mechanised sugarcane harvesters would increase the economic yield of sugarcane cultivation. An awareness on this concept was given to the farmers at a demonstration-cum seminar on precision farming and use of sugarcane harvesters here at Mangayanallur village in Mayiladuturai on Saturday.

The demonstration was steered by Arrooran Sugars that had purchased the sugarcane harvesters from Jain Irrigation Systems Limited at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore. According to them, the sugarcane harvesters simultaneously harvested and shredded the produce resulting in reduced harvest cost of Rs.250 per tonne. The cost incurred through manual labour is Rs.350 per tonne.

Under sugarcane cultivation, ratoon practice (where the second sowing is done without seeds, but watering the harvested field) provided an yield for up to three years. According to the Arrooran Sugars, use of sugarcane harvesters would enhance the yield for up to 10 years under the ratoon practice.

Commissioner of Agriculture Kosalaraman stated that Tamil Nadu with a population of 6.24 crore constituted over seven per cent of the country’s population. However, with cultivable land of four per cent and available water resources of three per cent, food security had to be ensured.

System of Rice Intensification mode of paddy cultivation has brought remarkable results of about 7.5 tonne per hectare. Similarly, precision farming should be taken up with zest by farmers.

The technology of precision farming was introduced with Israel’s support in Dharmapuri in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Initially, 50 acres were brought under precision farming on pilot basis, said Mr.Kosalaraman.

The Tamil Nadu government has expended over 53.14 crore for precision farming since 2007. Over 6,050 ha was brought under sugarcane cultivation through precision farming during 2007-8, 4,250 ha in 2008-09, and 4,000 ha in 2009-10.

Further, a subsidy of Rs.65,000 per hectare was being provided for precision farming which includes Rs.40,000 towards drip irrigation and Rs.15,000 towards fertilizers and PP chemicals (plant protection measures).

Under the National Agricultural Development Project, over Rs. 4 crore has been allotted for about 4,000 demonstrations to augment pulses production.

Under the NADP, Nagapattinam has been allotted with Rs.30 lakh for about 150 demonstrations. Pulses subsidy has been allowed at Rs.20,000 per hectare of which Rs.5,000 was towards cultivation costs and Rs.15,000 was towards laying sprinklers.

Earlier, the Agricultural Commissioner reviewed the area under pulses crop coverage. In a departure from the previous years, where the area under pulses was about 96,000 ha in the district, the area under pulses during the current season was about 66,000 ha.

Since Samba harvest was under way, he advised farmers to spray DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) fertilizer with two per cent concentration to augment the productivity of pulses crops.

A subsidy of Rs.200 per hectare was available under NADP and the farmers should avail this, Mr.Kosalaraman said. Over 12,000 hectares was covered under the DAP in Nagapattinam and demonstration of DAP spraying was conducted here at Pandaaravadai. He also reviewed the pulses black gram seed farm and farmers field schools being conducted by the Agricultural Department.

Though, some farmers have stated that the yield may not be substantial in certain cases, use of sugarcane harvester is stated to be labour-saving in times of labour deficit, and cost-effective, says R.V. Karunakaran, Joint Director of Agriculture, told The Hindu.