The recent rally in the market price of blackgram has encouraged farmers in the delta areas of Tiruchi district to raise the crop under irrigated condition.
Agriculture Department officials say that this indicates a shift in the cropping pattern adopted by farmers in canal irrigated delta areas of the district. Normally farmers go for a single blackgram or gingelly crop after cultivating samba paddy. But this time, farmers have opted for a second blackgram crop during summer in the filter point areas.
(Blackgram is raised in other parts of the district under rainfed condition.)
While the normal area under irrigated summer blackgram in the delta area of the district is around 300 hectares (ha) and gingelly about 2000 ha. But due to the sudden spike in the blackgram price, which is currently ruling at more than Rs.100 per kg up by about Rs.30 a kg from the same period last year, more farmers have opted for the crop, official say.
This summer, the area under irrigated blackgram is more than 1200 ha whereas the area under irrigated gingelly has come down to 700 ha.
In Lalgudi block alone, the crop has been raised in more than 800 ha in villages such as Anbil, Komakudi, Kattur, Manakkal and Sathamangalam.
These villages are traditional gingelly growing areas of the district. Most of the farmers in these villages have cultivated VBN-6 blackgram variety popularised by Agricultural Department.
The variety is highly resistant to yellow mosaic virus disease, a dreaded disease in summer blackgram which affects the yield drastically. Further, the variety has synchronized flowering and pod setting and comes to harvest in 70 days. This characteristic of the variety has encouraged the farmers to go for the variety, officials said.
During the current year, the department has distributed certified seeds of the VBN-6 blackgram variety with a subsidy of Rs.25 per kg under National Food Security Mission – Pulses (NFSM) through the agricultural extension centres.
Further, to boost the yield of blackgram, officials are popularising the DAP foliar spray technology among farmers to provide adequate nutrients for the crop. A subsidy of Rs.650 per ha is extended under the NFSM-Pulses for undertaking two per cent DAP foliar spraying.
Source : The Hindu