Area under precision farming to increase

COIMBATORE: Area under precision farming in the State will increase by about 10,000 hectares this financial year. With this the total area under the farming technology will cross 40,000 ha.

Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam told the Assembly recently that the Government had allocated Rs. 27.37 crore to bring 8,500 ha under agriculture crops and a little more under horticulture crops.

The Government provides 50 per cent of Rs. 1.30 lakh – the cost of implementing precision farming on a hectare – as subsidy.

The reason: studies have revealed that there is a 30–50 per cent increase in yield, improvement in quality of produce, uniformity in growth and extended harvest.

According to E. Vadivel, professor at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who supervised the implementation of the project in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, precision farming is optimising the use of water, fertilizer and pesticide to match the growth of each crop.

A team of experts from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University implemented the project on a pilot basis on 400 hectares.

The result of the study was so good that in 2007-08 the Government brought around 12,000 hectares under precision farming.

Karthik Madhavan From THE HINDU

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