A sugarcane farmer in Trichy is setting example for his fellow farmers by improving production several folds through optimum utilization of fertilizer and water. Manickavasagam of Unniyur in Thottiam currently harvests an imposing yield of up to 75 tonnes an acre, up from the previous 25 -35 tonnes yearly.
An ex- employee of Tamil Nadu Magnesite Limited (TNML), Manickavasagam turned his 12 acres of dry land into a fruitful farm by implementing some of the best agriculture practices to harvest around 65 - 75 tonnes. This ideal farmers says he first took up the task after settling in his homeland Unniyur on securing voluntary retirement from TNML 15 years back. Manickavasagam told that it was in 2014 when he decided to cultivate sugarcane turning the dry land into a productive one. Initially he dumped 4 trucks of cow dung manure on each acre but after one year raised this volume to 8 trucks and then 12 trucks and so on. He said it was a good decision as it helped him cut down fertilizer cost significantly besides enhancing the quality of soil manifold. Cow dung helped water to penetrate and hold it for a long time, he mentioned.
Manickavasagam said “The optimum use of fertilizer and water is the main reason for such high yield. Previously, he used to water the cane excessively and also used chemical fertilizers which led to a low quality yield. Farmers generally use about Rs 25,000 to raise cane on an acre. At the beginning I harvested 30 tonnes with a net gross profit of Rs 60,000. And when it rose to 70 tonnes the profit also went up to Rs 1.40 lakh, he said. Manickavasagam happily said that many farmers visit his farm to learn the methods he has been adopting for high yields.
"These days as the cultivation cost is going up, farmers have no option but to improve the yield. I am applying new methods in sowing seed cane also, by leaving space in between the seed and inlet path”, he added.