KVK, Cuddalore TNAU symbol
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
ICAR symbol TNAU building
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Vriddhachalam - 606 001
Cuddalore District
Tamil Nadu - India



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WELCOME TO KVK CUDDALORE

Awards and Achievements
 

1. VALUE ADDITION – FOOD PRODUCTS
a. READY TO SERVE BEVERAGE

                Miss.J. Kumatha, 25 year old, lives in kandiyankuppam village with one sister and parents in Vriddhachalam.  Her father is an aged person and finds very difficult to run the family due to lack of income.  She was working in a private company on the daily wages for her livelihood.  This minimum income was not sufficient to meet her family requirements. In this condition, she contacted the KVK for vocational training.  She is also an active member in self-help group.  She underwent one month vocational training programme on “Fruit processing- Ready to serve beverage” at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. After attending the programme, she decided to take up an income generating activities. She was fascinated towards preparing RTS from cashew apple, guava and jack which are the major fruits cultivable in Cuddalore district. She also prepared the beverages as per fruit products order (FPO) specifications. Even after preparing the product, she faced problems in selling beverages, as she was new to the business. She also tried to sell the products in cool drinks shops and petty shops available in Vriddhachalam.  She was unable to sell the products within a specified period of time.  Now she is selling all her products in the DRDA shops specially meant for marketing the products prepared by the self help group members.  Hygienic preparation, high sensory qualities and availability of RTS throughout the years gradually popularized among the people.  She takes the help from self-help group members, prepares 100 bottles of RTS beverage from 3000 ml of fruit juice, 4,750 kg of sugar and 65 gm of citric acid. After paying raw ingredients cost, fuel and labour charges, her monthly income is around Rs.2,500 to Rs.3,000. She prepares cashew apple and jack RTS during seasonal time and guava RTS during the left out period. Since it is a cyclic process throughout the year she is able to get the income continuously. The income earned from this business is helping her for running the family like others in the society. Now she is also seeking to extend this business to some other areas. Today she remembers the help rendered by Krishi Vigyan Kendra for her life upliftment.
b. WEANING FOODS
Mrs. Rani, 35 year old women lives in Ariyanachi Village, Veppur in Cuddalore district.  She under went the off campus training programme on “Varagu and green gram based weaning food preparation for infant  & pre school children” conducted by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. She started a small unit at house hold level with varagu, green gram cultivated in her own field. She produces 1 kg / day and earned Rs.1000/month. Yet, she was not able to sell the products continuously within a specified period of time and faced a lot of difficulties. At that time, she contacted the Krishi Vigyan Kendra for vocational training on “Value added products preparation and marketing” at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam.  After attending the programme, She was fascinated towards preparing weaning foods in quality packaging methods. She got the loan from  Bank, Vriddhachalam and able to threat out the initial investments.  At that time rural shops were opened by DRDA, Vriddhachalam. Now she is selling the products in DRDA shops and local market.  Her quality product gradually popularized among the people and got contact with employees in cement factory, which is near by her residence. She has taken the help of husband and  all the family members are now involved in preparing 100 packs of weaning foods of 500 g  per pack @ Rs 80/ kg.  She is able the preserve the produce up to 8 months with high quality and hence marketing becomes care and effective.  After paying the raw ingredient colt, fuel and labour charges, her monthly income is around Rs.2500/- to Rs.3000/-. The income earned from this business in helping her for running the family successfully.

   
 

2. SEED PRODUCTION IN RICE & BLACK GRAM
                Pulses such as blackgram and greengram are the important remunerative crops grown in Cuddalore District in an area of 61,000 ha which is being cultivated both under irrigated and rainfed conditions. Among which, blackgram occupies three fourth of pulse area which is grown as pure crop or intercrop. In Pantruti areas the crop is cultivated in the cashew gardens under rainfed situation. But it is cultivated as irrigated crop in all parts of the district. The crop is also grown in rice fallow condition during the month of January by utilizing the residual moisture in the rice field. Farmers were normally use the local varieties (Nattu Payaru) having low yield potential and their own seed materials. Also old varieties such as T9, TMV1 and ADT2 were grown. These varieties are susceptible to pest and diseases particularly pod borer and yellow mosaic disease. Therefore they spend more amount towards the control of the pest and diseases.
                Mr. Balasubramanian S/o. V. Radhakrishnan, Srineduncherry is one such a farmer who faced the problems of low yield in blackgram under irrigated condition. Normally he used to cultivate the local varieties available in the markets. During last year Krishi Vigyan Kendra intervened through front line demonstrations. Also he advised to produce seeds instead of grains.  Therefore, he planned to start seed production in rice and blackgram. Based on scientist’s advice, he followed the SRI techniques for rice seed production in White Ponni variety with an area of 4 acres. He found that this techniques required low seed rate (7– 8 kg ha-1), nitrogen (LCC based nitrogen management), water and labour requirement.  Based on his experience, he extended to an area of 12 acres for seed production in rice during this year.  He would able to  harvest higher seed yield of 5200 kg ha-1 with low cost of cultivation (Rs.10, 500) when compared to conventional method.  Based on the success of rice seed production with SRI technique, he advised nearby farmers in Srineduncheri village to take up commercial seed production in their fields.  The rice seeds produced by other farmers were also procured and marketed by him in and around Vriddhachalam Taluk.
                After rice, the farmer has taken up blackgram seed production in an area of 12 acres. He advised to grow the blackgram variety VBN4 with crop management practices in irrigated situation. To supply nitrogen to the crop, 1% urea application was given during flower initiation and flowering stages. Along with NAA 40 ppm spray was given. Chemical sprayings were also given as on need basis to control the pest and diseases. Mr. Balasubramanian field recorded the highest yield of 850 kg ha-1 and he got the net return of Rs.19000 ha-1. Also he produced the seeds of 4000kgs in 12 acres. The blackgram seeds produced were marketed to other farmers in Srineduncherry, Srimushnam and nearby villages.

 

3. RICE MECHANIZATION
                The farm mechanization is very important to increase the yield as well as to meet the labour demand. The main advantage of farm mechanization is to reduce human drudgery.
In Cuddalore district, the rice variety BPT (145 days) holds considerable area and is considered to be farmer’s first choice for samba season that extends from August to December. A bag of BPT paddy weighing 75 kg fetches a price of Rs.550 at the time of harvest and farmers going in for BPT cultivation generally make a profit of Rs.5000 per / acre. Although there is scope for getting more profit, farmers appear to be satisfied with whatever profit they are getting at present. BPT is highly preferred by consumers in Tamil Nadu and its straw, which is very soft also, fetches a good price.
 During planting season the availability of trained labour becomes scarce and engaging untrained labour for completing the planting operation leads to poor plant population and deep planting, resulting in reduced yield. The use of direct sown paddy seed drill is more effective when the labour availability is scare.
Defects in farmer’s practice
                Around Vriddhachalam farmers use high seed rate 42-45 kg / ac and they incur an expense of Rs.780- 800. When they use a high seed rate the seedlings in the nursery grow dense, become thin and grow tall and ultimately needs more seedlings per hill. Since they prepare the land in a hurry to catch up with the season they fail to achieve a perfectly leveled field. When farmers transplant seedlings in such fields seedling mortality creates problem in obtaining optimum plant population over a unit area. Farmers adopt wider planting and also plant 6 - 8 seedlings per hill, which affects the growth and development of seedlings. The weak seedlings are affected by pests and diseases. Farmers incur huge expenses for transplanting and weeding operations.
                Since farmers transplant aged seedlings (40-45 days) nutrient management. The lack of attention to adopt appropriate agronomic practices in premature lodging of the crop resulting in grain discolouration, poor yield and poor quality produce. Farmers generally get yields ranging from 20-25 bags (bag of 75 kg) from a one acre.
Economics of the farmer’s practice for one hectare


S. No.
Operation details

Expenses  (Rs.)

Farmer’s practice

Direct seeding

1.

Nursery preparation

600

-

2.

Seeds

1,575

135

3.

Main field preparation and ploughing with a power tiller

3,800

3,800

4.

Trimming of bunds

350

350

5.

Land leveling

550

700

6.

Sowing cost

-

160

7.

Pulling out seedlings and transport into the main field

1,200

-

8.

Transplanting

1,700

-

9.

Basal dose of 50kg of DAP and 25 kg of MOP

800

800

10.

Weedicide cost

 

850

11.

Two hand weeding

1,800

800

12.

Top dressing with urea 25 kg and
MOP 25 kg

600

600

13.

Plant protection

750

-

14.

Harvesting and threshing

3,800

3,800

 

Total

17,525

11,995

*Seeds (105 kg) - Farmer’s practice, ( 8 kg) - Direct seeding

Net profit from one hectare

S. No
Particulars

Profit cost (Rs)

Farmer’s practice

Direct seeding

1.

Value of 50 bags of paddy (75kg / bags)

27,500

37,500

2.

Value of straw

1,200

1,200

3.

Gross income

28,700

38,700

4.

Net profit (gross income - total expenses)

11,175

26,705

5.

Net profit (Rounded off)

11,180

26,710

 
 

4. DIRECT SEEDING WITH IMPROVED PADDY SEED DRILL
                The seed drill is used to sow pre-germinated paddy seeds in puddled field condition. The total cost of the unit is Rs.4500/-. The weight of the unit is 15 kg and can be operated easily by 2 persons in the field. About 0.8 to 1.0 ha/day can be sown using the seed drill. Adequate plant population can be maintained and using the seed drill ensures shallow planting and hence high tillering leads to increased yield. The direct sowing method has been introduced by KVK to the farmers in and around Vriddhachalam and Chidambaram taluk.
Preparation of land
                The basal dose of 50 kg of DAP and 25 kg of MOP were applied by the farmers in the main field before direct seeding with drum seeder. The puddled land properly leveled and the soil also allowed settle for some time. Eight kg of sprouted seeds were sown by using direct seed drill. Eight days after sowing weedicide was used to control the early appearing weeds. After 30 days, 20 women were engaged to carryout perfect weeding in the direct sown crop. They also thinned the seedlings and the thinned seedlings were used for gap filling as well as transplanting elsewhere over an extent of direct sown area. Immediately after thinning 25 kg of MOP and 25 kg of urea was applied as top dressing. They adopted appropriate water management techniques and obtained a flourishing crop, which came to harvest 15-20 days earlier than transplanted crop.
                The joy of the farmers found that direct sown crop was standing erect at harvesting stage in contrast to heavy lodging noticed in the transplanted crop.  The farmers obtained a yield of 30- 32 bags per acre, which is higher by 7 bags compared to transplanted crop. The extra profit of Rs.15,500 per hectare  was obtained by farmers using direct sowing method compared to transplanting practice.
The advantages found by farmers

  1. The duration of BPT crop was reduced by 15-20 days
  2. Direct sown crops gave 7 bags  more than transplanted crops
  3. The direct sown crop stood erect up to harvest stage
  4. The crop was less affected by pest
  5. The cultivation cost per unit area was considerably less consequent to saving in quantity of seed used
  6. The thinned out seedlings obtained from direct sown field were useful in raising another crop elsewhere
  7. Direct sowing method there is no need for raising a separate nursery

The use of drum seeder has a special significance for lodging variety like BPT. Farmers in and around Chidambaram taluk are very much interested by this method. The progressive farmer (Mr. S. Selvam, Khurriyamangalam, Bhuvanagiri block) who was benefited by this method gratefully acknowledges the help and guidance by the scientists of KVK, Vriddhachalam.

 
 

5. SEED GROWER
Seed is an important determinant of agricultural production and the efficacy of other agricultural inputs like labour, fertilizers depends on the quality of seed.  Hence, the availability of the right seed material is very crucial. In Cuddalore district rice is grown in an area of 114291 ha and the approximate seed requirement is around 6857t.  In order to achieve higher seed requirement, a major effort is required to cover more area under seed production. The production and supply of quality seeds and enhancing the seed replacement rates of various crops are the important issues in seed sector. Hence, training on seed production to the farmers is needed to increase the production of quality seeds.  
Krishi Vigyan Kendra intervention
The farmers have purchased the seeds from private seed companies, government outlets and also used their own farm saved seeds. KVK scientists explained the uses and production of quality seeds. But, the resource poor farmers were unable to produce the seeds of their own due to lack of technical knowhow. Then the Krishi Vigyan Kendra intervened and trained the farmers of Rajendrapatinam village about the seed production technologies such as land selection, sources of seed, isolation distance, rogueing, foliar nutrition, harvesting and post harvest handling of seeds in three stages under seed village training programme

Success story
                If we consider the success story of trained farmers, Thiru T. Subramanian S/o Thirugnanasambantham residing at Rajendrapattinam village in Vriddhachalam Taluk of Cuddalore District is one of the progressive farmers in this village has shown impressive progress both as an early adopter and entrepreneur. He is also a convener (from 1985 onwards) and SAC member (from 2002) of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam.
Impact
He is having 35 acres of wet land with good irrigation sources. Previously, he followed conventional system of rice cultivation for grain production. After few years he felt that this system would not have benefit in terms of both yield and soil fertility maintenance. Then, he planned to start seed production in rice as advised by scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. Previously he had undergone the training on the direct seeding techniques with drum seeder and SRI techniques in rice during 2003. He practiced these techniques in seed production and he found that this techniques required low seed rate (7 – 8 kg ha-1), nitrogen (LCC based nitrogen management), water and labour requirement.  Based on this experience, he extended to an area of 30 acres for seed production in rice.  He able to  harvest higher seed yield of 6000 kg ha-1 with low cost of cultivation (Rs.12, 000) when compared to conventional method. Now he became a private seed entrepreneur and marketing his seeds under the banner “Raja seeds”.
Impact of the seed village trainings to the farmers


S.No.

Particulars and impact of the training

Production and income details

1.

Area

12

2.

Crops in which seed produced

Paddy, Pulse

3.

Unit production capacity   

6 tonnes / ha –Paddy
7 qts / ha – Blackgram

4.

Seed supply                        

Dept. of Agrl and farmers

5.

Net income                                          

Rs.60,000 / ha –paddy
Rs. 20,000 / ha –blackgram

6.

Rural employment                               

5000 man days / year

7.

Estimated area coverage 

12 ha –paddy
12 ha –blackgram

 

6. CASHEW NURSERY
                Among the horticultural crops, cashew is the main crop, which occupied the most part of the Cuddalore district.  The crop is grown in plantations and gives potential source of income to the farmers.  Most of the plantations are 30-40 years old and raised from seedling progenies of local varieties with average yield of 250 kg of cashew nuts from a hectare. The total income from a hectare of cashew is around Rs.12, 000/- and the farmers incur expenses of Rs.3000 to 4000/- for pesticide spraying and Rs.3000/- for fertilizer application. The net profit is around Rs.5000-6000/- only. Therefore farmers are replacing the old plantation to  one by planting the improved varieties such as VRI 2 and VRI 3. Also under the wasteland development programme the uncultivated lands are transferred to cultivable land by planting the cashew grafts. Such a huge potential demand is there for any number of cashew grafts. Having this in mind, Krishi Vigyan Kendra started the training on the production of cashew grafts in the nursery from 2004 onwards.  The training was given to the rural youths with a period of one week to four weeks.  The short term one week training was given especially for cashew grafting techniques and two weeks or four weeks training was given for propagation of all the horticultural and forestry crops including cashew.
Success Story
Mr. N. Sivakumar is a progressive rural youth involved in production of cashew grafts and other potential horticultural and tree seedlings in Pudukooraipettai village. Due to some lacuna he was failed to achieve the maximum success.  The KVK has intervened and gave him the training on nursery seedling production techniques such as mist chamber construction, nursery mixture preparation, rootstock production, scion collection, grafting techniques, use of growth regulators etc. Scientists of the KVK made regular visit to his unit and gave him necessary technical support.
He is a tenth qualified youth and initially had one acre of nursery land. Now he expanded his land holdings to 12 acres, in which 2.5 acre is being used for nursery. Among the total area, 8 acres have been planted with cashew, 0.5 acre with Amla, 0.5 acre with Mango and remaining 0.5 acre has been utilized for Jack plant cultivation, in which the mother plant stock materials collected for making grafting. Initially, he invested Rs.60, 000 and now the turnover is around Rs.5 Lakhs per year. He installed shadenet (2000 sq. meter - NHM), sprinkler irrigation to nursery plants and drip irrigation to mother plants in the nursery.
At present he is producing around 1 lakh cashew grafts per year and supplying mostly to Cuddalore, Dindigul, Pudhukottai, Theni and Perambalur districts and some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
Now he is widening his nursery seedling production to other crops likely Amla (10,000 grafts /year), Mango (5000 grafts/year) and Jack (2000 grafts/year). By seeing his activities, others have also approached the KVK for training and five among the trained started nursery successfully.
                On an average 8-10 lakh plants has been produced every year from cashew nurseries available in Pudhukooraipetai village. Therefore the cashew cultivation is spreading widely and supplying plants to 4000 - 5000 ha planted every year from the village. If we consider the growth rate of the above nursery work the trained persons can able to supply around 1.0 lakh grafts per year. So the old plantations of the entire district can be replaced with new improved varieties within short period of four or five years. But the youths were catching the other state markets also even in the initial period itself. So it is impressive to note that the nursery business is having good potential.

 
 

7. TELECHERRY GOAT REARING
               
                Thiru. K. Kaliyamoorthy is residing at Manadikuppam village of Vriddhachalam taluk, Cuddalore District. He is one of the convenors of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam (from 1985 onwards). Currently, he has under taken Telecherry goat rearing.
                During the year 1996 he had 5 acres of rainfed land and cultivated groundnut. He also had few horticultural crops like cashew, jack and guava in 2 acres. Along with this land he was rearing local goat breed. Since, he was able to get only minimum income through this property, he failed to achieve success. At that moment he planned to rear high yielding goat breed. He approached the KVK for training and guidance.
                During the year 1997 he participated in IVLP training programme on “Telecherry Goat Rearing Techniques” organized by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. He was highly impressed and purchased 4 female and 1 male as one unit of Telecherry goat from Veterinary College, Chennai through Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. He reared the goat with prescribed feed as per the training imparted to him. Along with feed he properly followed the shelter constructions, vaccine and deworming schedule as per the advice of SMS (Veterinary) of KVK, VRI. In 6 month period he was able to get 3 kids from each goat. During the next 1 ½ of years, he was able to multiply the goat unit to 15-20 goats. He got stabilized by the end of the year 2000 and able to sell the kids @ Rs.1,200/ kid and aged goat @ Rs. 2,400/ goat – for meat purpose @ Rs. 120/kg live weight to the own villagers and to farmers of Punruti and Cuddalore. At Present he is able to sell the goat and get the net amount of about Rs. 20,000/ 6 month. With this income he is able to improve the standard of living. He is one of the progressive farmer continuously maintaining this breed and also commercially exploiting the breed. The Telecherry goats now available amoung different farmers of Cuddalore District have been procured from him.

 

8. CROSSANDRA NURSERY

About 80% of the land holdings in Cuddalore district belong to marginal and small farmers and nearly 88% of the population is living in the rural areas engaged in agricultural activities. Farmers are cultivating agricultural, horticultural and forestry crops in such a way to their agro-ecosystem. Flower crops are in great demand in different parts of Cuddalore district particularly because of the Chennai and Pondicherry markets. The flowers are being sold for the purposes such as loose flowers, garland making etc. The demand is driven because of the nursery seedling production activities in a village Vegakollai of Panrutti Block. Most of the farmers from this village is producing the flower crop seedlings particularly crossandra, jasmine, rose etc. A scheme called ‘model village’ operated by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam in this village was a take away in the promotion of Crossandra cultivation.  This village has 814 farm families with a total population of 4513 of which 4114 are literates and has male and female population of 2154 and 2359 respectively.    Out of the 814 families, 679 have lands of which 27 farmers have more than 4 ha, 65 farmers 2-4ha, 143 farmers 1-2 ha, 203 farmers 1-0.4 ha and 241 farmers less than  0.4ha land.  The remaining 135 were land less and working as agricultural labour.  The soil type is silt clay loam in top and red soil below one feet. This village has 4 over head tanks, 2 ponds, 24 electric motors, 12 bore wells and 3 tractors.
 KVK intervention: Prior to KVK linkage with this village, the farmers purchased Delhi crossandra planting materials from Pondicherry at a cost of Rs.3.50 per plant. On an average farmers spent  Rs.75,000 to 80,000 per ha for planting materials and it’s transport. The KVK intervened and offered season long vocational training in nursery production technologies such as mist chamber construction, use of growth regulators, nursery mixture preparation etc. Scientists of the KVK made regular visits to their unit and gave them necessary technical support. About 20 farmers were trained from the KVK and most of these farmers running the nursery in well established manner.
Success story: This success story develops around Mr.Muthukumaran a twelfth qualified youth who initially had 2 acres of land. After his nursery activities he earned profit and improved his financial position. Now he has expanded his land holdings to 12 acres, in which one acre is being used for nursery. Among the total area 5 acres have been planted with cashew, 2 acres with jack and remaining 3 acres has been utilized for crossandra cultivation (Delhi crossandra) and one acre for jasmine in which the mother plant stock materials  are collected for making cuttings. At present he is producing around 5 lakh plants per year and supplying mostly to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In his view around 10,000 farmers have purchased crossandra seedlings from his nursery so far. Initially he invested Rs.50, 000 and now the turnover is around Rs.2 lakhs per year up to 2005-06. At present he has concentrating seedling production in jasmine. During year 2006-07 he has produced 9 lakhs jasmine seedling and 2.5laks crossandra seedlings. In addition to this, he generated rural employment to about 50 people. Instilled by the confidence and opportunities, this entrepreneur is now widening his nursery seedling production to other crops likely jasmine, rose, jack, cashew, acid lime and orange. 
Impact : At present in and around Vegakollai village has 15-20 nurseries and the production capacity is around 3-5 lakhs per unit with initial cost of Rs.50,000. On an average 15-20 lakh plants has been produced every year from crossandra nurseries available in Vegakollai village. Seedlings produced are being supplied mostly to Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Salem, Trichy and Perambalur districts and other states Andhra Pradesh. Now the farmers are also producing other crops viz., jasmine, rose, jack, cashew, acid lime and orange seedlings. On an average the net profit of the unit is around Rs. 2 to 2.5 lakhs per year. In addition to the family members the nursery unit is providing employment to the rural youth for 750-800 man days per unit per year. The crossandra, jasmine and rose seedlings produced in these units are being used to plant 150-200 ha in Cuddalore district and 250 ha in other places.
Impact of the vocational trainings to the farmers and rural youths


S.No.

Particulars and impact of the training

Production and income details

1.

Number of units running

20

2.

Crops in which seedlings produced

Crossandra, rose, jasmine

3.

Unit production capacity   

3-5 lakh plants / year

4.

Seedlings supply                

Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh

5.

Net income                                          

Rs.2-2.5 lakhs / unit / year

6.

Rural employment                               

750-800 man days / unit / year

7.

Village total production        

15-20 lakh plants / year

8.

Estimated area coverage 

200 ha / year

 

9. VEGETABLE PICKLE PRODUCTION
                Mrs. K. Jothi, 40 years old women lives in Manavalanallur village, Vriddhachalam. She is a house-wife belonging to middle class income group. She under went the 15 days vocational Training Programme on “Pickle Production for Entrepreneurs” conducted by Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam during the month of July 2006. After attending the programme she was fascinated towards preparing bitter gourd pickle and mixed vegetable pickle. She utilized the vegetables of her own farm for preparing the pickles. Hence, the initial investment on raw materials were drastically reduced. She prepared the pickle on small scale level @ 1-1/2 kg /day. Later on, she got loan from Indian Overseas Bank, Vriddhachalam with the help of “Training Participation Certificate – Value Added Food Products Preparation for Entrepreneurs” received from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Vriddhachalam. Now is selling the products in DRPA shops, Vriddhachalam and also supplying pickles for hotels. She is able to supply “Sachet Pickle Packets” for grossery shop in Vriddhachalam in the name of K.T.R. Pickles. Her hygienic preparation and high consumer qualities gradually got popularized among people. Now she is able get contract with employees of various institution and NLC employees, which is near by Vriddhachalam. She has taken the help of her husband for sales and all the family members are involved in preparing pickle bottle, packets and sachets. At present she is able to sell the pickles of 24 kg/ month of about @ Rs. 100/ kg (including fuel, labour, package and miscellaneous cost). Hence, the net income is about Rs. 2,400/ month. She is able to preserve the products upto 8 months with high quality.

 

10. VERMICOMPOST
Continuous use of chemical fertilizers will lead to decline in soil fertility and productivity besides causing deficiency and imbalance of micronutrients. The productivity of the soil can not be sustained with the chemical fertilizers alone.  Organic manure is an indispensable component of soil. Vermicompost is one of the organic manures, which plays an important role in sustaining the productivity and improving physical condition of soil without any deleterious effect of soil health and environment.  Vermicomposting is an easy and effective way to recycle agricultural wastes in to nutrition rich compost by earthworm activity. Vermicast is a valuable soil amendment and may replace the chemical fertilizers to some extent. Vermicompost is rich in N, P and K nutrients and also contains micronutrients, certain hormones, enzymes beneficial bacteria and actinomycetes which improve soil fertility and enhances quality of crop produce.
Vocational training on vermicompost production was imparted to the farmers of Cuddalore district through Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. Mr. Narayanan is one of the beneficiaries has taken up the work and successfully runs the vermicompost production unit at Sathamangalam of Vriddhachalam taluk.  He purchased 1,500 numbers of earthworms from Vegetable Research Station, Palur with cost of Rs.600/- and released in the compost shed. In the first harvest, 250 kg of vermicast were collected, there after 1,500 kg for every month. Another vermished unit was started by him at Pudukurapettai during December, 2004 and collecting 1,500 kg of vermicast every month. Totally 3,000 kg of vermicast per month were produced by him and applied in his own fields only. Previously he applied FYM and chemical fertilizers for field crops like rice, sugarcane now; he applied only vermicompost to rice, sugarcane, banana crops and mango trees. As per his statement application of vermicompost increased the yield of rice, sugarcane, enhanced the quality (taste) of banana and mango fruits, early flowering in moringa and improved the soil fertility.

 

11. VALUE ADDED FOOD PRODUCTS – DRUMSTICK PICKLE
                Mrs. B. Getsyol 35 year old, lives in Vadalur, Cuddalore District with one son and aged parents. She was working in a private company on the daily wages for her live hood. The minimum income was not sufficient to meet the family requirement. In this condition, she contacted Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam for vocational training. She is also an active member in self-help group. She underwent one month vocational training programme on “Value added food products preparation – Moringa pickle production” conducted in Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachlam. She started a small unit with locally available moringa at house hold level and able to produce one Kg/day and earn Rs. 750 -1000/month. Yet, she was not able to produce the product continuously within a specified period of time and faced lot of difficulties. After getting the advise from Krishi vigyan Kendra and marketing division she got loan from Indian overseas Bank, Vadalur and able to threat out the initial investment. Now she is selling the products in DRDA shops of Vriddhachlam, Vadalur and Cuddalore. Her hygienic preparation and high sensory qualities gradually popularized among the people she got contract with Neyveli light Corporation employees for sale of pickle. Now all the family members are involved in preparing 100-200 bottles of moringa pickle @ Rs. 40/Kg. She is able to preserve the product upto 6  months with high quality and hence marketing become easier and effective. After paying the raw materials, her monthly income is around about Rs. 2500-3000/-. The income earned from this business is helping her for running the family successfully.

 

12. SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION (SRI)
SRI method is emerging as a potential alternative to traditional way of flooded rice cultivation and is showing great promise to address the problems of water scarcity, high energy usage and  chemicalisation. In Cuddalore District this technique is now practiced elaborately by the farmers and KVK has been imparting lab to land technology transfer  using all available extension programmes whch can be seen in different sections in this report.
Features of SRI
1. Low seed requirement: A single seedling is transplanted per hill at wider spacing; therefore seed requirement is drastically reduced.
2. Low water requirement: There is no need to maintain standing water always as in conventional method. However, the water stagnation leads to suffocation.
3. Transplantation of tender/ young seedlings (14 days): Transplantation of young seedlings at shallow depth results in quick recovery and establishment and production of more tillers.
4. Transplanting at wider spacing (22.5 x 22.5 cm ):  Wider spacing allows enough sunlight to reach the leaves of each rice plant thus reducing competition for water, space and nutrients resulting in the spread of roots and healthy growth of plants (the distance can be increased depending on soil fertility).
5. Incorporating weeds into the soil while weeding: Weeding with a simple hoe helps in replenishing the nutrients in the form of green manure. Working with a hoe or weeder helps to aerate soil which in turn helps in vigorous root growth (First weeding 10 days after transplating and a minimum 3 weedings at 10-12 day interval).
6. LCC based nitrogen management: LCC based nitrogen management saves 20 – 25 % N requirement.
Interventions
Training
The training on SRI was conducted by KVK at Rajendrapattinam during 2003 for 15 farmers. Out of them, Thiru.T.Subramanian, Rajendrapattinam is having 35 acres of wet land with good irrigation sources. Previously, he followed conventional system of rice cultivation for grain production.  Then, he followed the SRI technique for seed production of White Ponni variety in 1 hectare. He found that this technique required low seed rate (7 – 8 kg ha-1), nitrogen (LCC based nitrogen management), water and labour requirement.  Based on this experience, he extended to an area of 15 acres for seed production in rice.  He was able to  harvest higher seed yield of 5350 kg ha-1 with low cost of cultivation (Rs.11, 000) when compared to conventional method and marketed the seeds in and around Vriddhachalam Taluk. Based on the success of SRI technique, he has also advised farmers of Sri Neduncheri village to take up commercial seed production in their fields by adopting SRI technique. Initially, the SRI covered only one block (2003) and after 6 years the SRI method of cultivation has been taken up in, all the bocks of the district.
                Due to the policy of GoTN to promote SRI based on the perceived advantages, the adoption is extremely high. The KVK has taken special initiatives in imparting special trainings to the block level officers and PU level officers of the Department of Agriculture, Cuddalore Dt. The KVK has taken up the demonstrations during previous years. Demonstration carried out in 72 demonstration locations during 2004-06 have shown an average of increase of  29.43% increase in yield over check method. 
The modifications in the technologies were incorporated and technology transfer missions have yielded  large scale adoption of the technique. As per the directives of the government SRI has been taken up in all the  13  blocks and ~20% of the area is under SRI during the two seasons of rice.  During 2009 an analysis of SRI was made by this KVK which is given hereunder.
SRI – horizontal spread
In the continuation of KVK intervention on SRI, a case study was taken up on the yield attributes of SRI fields at two location namely Pudukooraipettai and T. V. Pudur. The data on yield attributes were recorded and furnished in Table.  The data showed that the maximum tillers / hill (27.5) were recorded at Pudukooraipettai field of which 22.7 tillers were productive tillers/ hill. The maximum number of grain per hill was 180 and 110.5 in primary and secondary tillers respectively. Under SRI fields 85.2 % of tillers were productive.

 

13. INTRODUCTION OF MAIZE AND SUNFLOWER 
a. Maize

  • The farmers in Thittakudi block normally raise  pearl millet / kodo millet during September-October.
  • The farmers are cultivating the low potential local varieties
  • The crop fetches low market value and demand
  • Based on the survey and discussion with Farm Science Club members (FSC), the suitable alternate crop was identified.
  • Front Line Demonstration on maize crop was conducted in and around Thittakudi block.
  • The maize variety Co 1 was raised and it recorded a grain yield of 6.2 t / ha when compared to pearl millet as maize grain equivalent yield (4.4 t /ha)
  • Maize crop recorded a net return of Rs 23,400 / ha and cost benefit ratio of 3.2
  • Field day and  training programmes were organized to popularize the maize cultivation
  • The farmers and extension functionaries were satisfied about the advantages like higher yield, less cost of cultivation, low pest and diseases incidence and easy marketability.
  • The poultry feed manufacturers in Salem and Namakkal districts are directly purchasing from the farmers at the rate of Rs 500-700 per quintal
  • At present maize occupies nearly about 7000 ha in Thittakudi block

b. Sunflower

  • Veppur village farmers have close contact with KVK for various training courses, diagnostic surveys and all other activities.
  • The farmers in this area cultivate coriander and realize low net return.
  • During the farm advisory service and FSC convener meeting, introduction of alternate crop was discussed during 2002.
  • In the ensuing season, KVK implemented the FLD
  • on sunflower in Veppur village as an alternate crop.
  • The Front Line Demonstration farmers harvested 8.55 q / ha of sunflower grain and sold the produce at the rate of Rs.18.00 /kg.
  • On an average they have obtained a net income of Rs. 15,300/- per ha.
  • The sunflower thresher available in KVK has been demonstrated during the field day.
  • Use of thresher for separation of grains has minimized the labour cost for threshing.
  • The income from sunflower and mechanization of threshing impressed the FLD farmers and near by village farmers to cultivate the sunflower.
 

14. QUALITY SEED PRODUCTION IN PADDY AND PULSES
Constraints: Seed is the prime input in agriculture and is an important determinant of agricultural production and the efficacy of other agricultural inputs like labour, fertilizers etc. Farmers are using knowingly the locally available seeds which are one of the prime factors for low yield. Use of quality seed material increases the yield by 10-15 per cent.
 KVK intervention: Krishi Vigyan Kendra conducted the training in Rajendrapattinam village for 15 farmers on quality seed production in paddy and pulses such as land selection, sources of seed, isolation distance, rogueing, foliar nutrition, harvesting and post harvest handling of seeds for 15 days during 2003 and 2005. Also conducted Front Line Demonstrations in System of Rice Intensification for quality seed production in 72 farmers field in Rajendrapattinam and Srineduncherry villages during 2004 & 2005-06. In addition to this, Scientist of Krishi Vigyan Kendra has provided technical help when the trainees needed through farm advisory services.
Outcome of Training and FLD: Among the 15 trainees one farmer in Rajendrapattinam village is producing paddy seed materials and selling under the name of “RAJA” seeds from 2005 onwards. Also one farmer in Srineduncherry village is producing blackgram seed and selling through RAJA seeds.
Success story: Thiru.T.Subramanian, Rajendrapattinam is having 35 acres of wet land with good irrigation sources. Previously, he followed conventional system of rice cultivation for grain production. He is able to harvest higher seed yield of 6000 kg ha-1 with low cost of cultivation (Rs.12, 000) when compared to conventional method. He is now a private seed entrepreneur and marketing his seeds under the banner “Raja seeds”.


Sl No

Particulars and impact of the training

Production and income details

2005

2006

2007

2008

1

Area

8

10

12

28

2

Crops in which seeds produced

Paddy

Paddy

Paddy

Paddy

3

Seeds production capacity

6 tonnes / ha

6 tonnes / ha

6 tonnes / ha

18 tonnes/ha

4

Seeds supply

50 tonnes

60 tonnes

75 tonnes

176 tonnes

5

Seeds supply to

Dept. of Agriculture and farmers

6

Net income

4 lakhs

6 lakhs

7 lakhs

19

7

Employment (Man days / year)

4000

5000

6000

NA

Significant impact: The Department of Agriculture has facilitated him the start of one full fledged seed production unit now and commissioning work is under progress.

 

15. MUSHROOM SPAWN AND MUSHROOM PRODUCTION

The vocational training programme on “Mushroom production and product preparation” conducted in Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam since 2003 -04 for the benefit of farm women, rural youth, school dropouts and farmers. Totally three 30 days vocational training programme were organized and 119 participants were trained in mushroom production technologies such as importance of edible mushroom, demand and marketability, spawn production of various mushrooms, maintenance of mushroom shed, preparation of bed, production and management strategies etc..

Pre-evaluation for trainees : Before conducting mushroom production training, pre-evaluation were made through oral discussion and conducting simple test about the advantages of mushroom, edible mushroom, types of mushroom and base for production etc.
Post –evaluation for trainees:        After completion of training programme, post evaluation was carried out through group discussion, individual presentation, identification of specimens, objective type and descriptive test. The results of the pre and post evaluation of the trainees revealed that about 75 -80 % of the trainees were found unaware about the features and production of mushrooms under controlled condition and 95% of the trainees were found to gain knowledge on the mushroom production technologies respectively.

Followup after the training programme

Successes story of trainees

  • Mrs. Inbavedivu, 60 year old woman live in Periyakonpallam Village, Pennadam with son and daughter in law in Cuddalore district.  She under went the training programme on Mushroom production and product preparation” conducted in Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Vriddhachalam. She started a small unit with 5 to 10 mushroom bed at house hold level and able to produce 500 g to 1 kg / day and earned Rs.1000/month. Yet, she was not able to sell the products continuously within a specified period of time and faced a lot of difficulties. At that time, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra advised her to prepare mushroom pickle on small scale level utilizing the 500 g to 1 kg / day and sell as value added products.  She got the loan from Lakshmi Bank, Pennadam and able to continue the business. The income (monthly Rs.2500/- to Rs.3000/-) earned from this business in helping her for running the family successfully.
  • Mr. Gopalakrishnan from Mangalampettai  has started mushroom production in small level @ 2 -3 kg /day and sold the produce at Farmer shandy through which he has earned Rs. 300/- day and about Rs.6000/- month .
  • Mr. Mahesh from RS Mathur is producing  milky mushroom production and also spawn production since 2004. He produce 10-11 kg of mushroom/day and sold the products at Pennadam and Vriddhachalam. He is producing varieties of spawn such as oyster and miky mushroom and sold at the cost of Rs.20/- bottle. He is able to earn Rs.15000 -16000/ month.

 

 
 
 
   
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