Following uncertainty over getting the Cauvery water for irrigation
Thanjavur: In their search for alternative crops following uncertainty in getting the Cauvery water owing to a dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, farmers of Thanjavur district have taken up vegetable cultivation. They cultivate bitter gourd, ash gourd, pumpkin, radish, brinjals, cucumber, bhendi etc.
Murugaiyan of Vayalur near here has been cultivating bitter gourd for the past five years. He has raised the crop on one acre of land. "I get 80 to 110 kg of bitter gourd every month. I sell them at the market at the rate of Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 a kg. I get a reasonable profit."
Normally vegetables are grown on 350 to 400 hectares in the district, say Agriculture Department officials. Cultivation of cotton, maize, gingelly, sunflower is also taken up during summer. This year, area of coverage of alternative crops has come down, as there is comfortable storage at the Mettur dam.
Water was released for kuruvai cultivation on June 12 from the Mettur dam and it reached Grand Anicut on June 16. From there, it was released into the Cauvery, Vennar and Grand Anicut canal systems.
Transplantation has been completed on 6,000 hectares. "Farmers have taken up sowing seeds at many places, irrigated by the canals.
As water is yet to reach interior villages, cultivation in canal-irrigated areas is yet to begin and it will pick up by the month-end," said officials.
The plan is to raise kuruvai on 40,000 hectares in Thanjavur district this year.