Focus on increasing sugar cane yield
Updated: June 27, 2015 05:37 IST | Special Correspondent, The Hindu
The average productivity of sugar cane is low with certain regions in the country reporting yields as low as 60 tonne a hectare.
However, Tamil Nadu is better performing state in terms of productivity, an average productivity in our State is 110 tonne a hectare.
Still there is scope to improve the productivity up to 250 tonne a hectare in Tamil Nadu. Hence, there is an urgent need to improve productivity and protect farmer livelihoods and ecosystem through an integrated approach. Sustainable sugar cane Initiatives is the new integrated technology mainly to improve the productivity of land, water and labour without further degrading the sugar cane growing ecosystems.
To help farmers adopt the technology fully, the National Agricultural Development Programme (RKVY) sponsored training programme on 'sustainable sugar cane initiatives' was held for two days at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Sandhiyur near here recently. The participants for the training programme were identified by the Department of Agriculture.
The theme areas were covered by experts and farm scientists through presentation and demonstration during the training programme.
The Sustainable Sugar cane Initiative (SSI) aims at providing practical options to the farmers in improving the productivity of land, water and labour, all at the same time. SSI is also expected to reduce the overall pressure on water resources and contribute to recovery of ecosystems.
SSI is an innovative method of sugar cane production using less seeds, less water and optimum utilisation of fertilizers and land to achieve more yields.
Major Principles that governs the SSI raising nursery using single-budded chips, transplanting young seedlings, maintaining wide spacing in the main field, provision of sufficient moisture and avoiding inundation of water, practicing intercropping, using or organic methods of nutrient management and plant protection, were explained to the farmers in detail. Raising a nursery and grading reduces plant mortality significantly as compared to conventional cultivation.
The farmers were also told about the overall benefits of improved water use efficiency, optimum use of fertilizers favour balanced availability of nutrients, better aeration and more penetration of sunlight favours higher sugar content, reduced cost of cultivation and increased returns through intercropping etc.
Farm scientists led by N. Sriram, Programme Coordinator, KVK, Sandhiyur, urged the farmers to adopt SSI and drip and fertigation methods for improving the sugar cane productivity and sugar content. M. Vijayakumar, Subject matter specialist (Agronomy) and G. Senthilnathan of KVK, Sandhiyur, were among the resource persons who imparted training.