Horticulture Dept. promotes protected cultivation
Horticulture Department has brought 41,000 square metre under protected cultivation in the district.
M. Thangaraju, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Coimbatore, said under poly green houses farmers cultivated vegetables like tomato, gourds, capsicum and flowers to increase yield. The increase was around 25 per cent.
In controlled conditions, the quality of vegetables increased because of high moisture content, he said. “The farmers managed to get higher price as well.”
Under the Centre-funded National Horticulture Mission the Department gives Rs. 3.25 lakh as subsidy for every 1,000 sq.m. under controlled cultivation. The programme has been under implementation since 2006-07.
The department has also done well in promoting cocoa cultivation.
In the last financial year it had brought 1,100 hectare under cocoa, which is inter-cropped with coconut. The department had spent Rs. 57.17 lakh for the purpose.
A farmer gets Rs. 11,250 for a hectare and he can avail of the subsidy for not more than four hectares. Saplings are supplied by Cadbury India Ltd., which also buys the cocoa beans. The Deputy Director said the average harvest was 500 kg a hectare and the company paid Rs. 172 a kg.
Under the National Horticulture Mission, the department has also promoted amla and mango cultivation in 96 and 204 hectare respectively under the ‘Establishments of New Gardens' scheme. Under the scheme to increase area under non-perennial fruits, the department has encouraged farmers to take up banana cultivation on 1,400 hectare. The subsidy given for the purpose: Rs. 1.05 crore.
Under the loose flowers promotion scheme, it had given Rs. 16.08 lakh to promote marigold and jasmine cultivation on 140 hectare. Similarly, chilli and turmeric cultivation has been promoted on 370 hectare at Rs. 41.59 lakh.