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TN farmers advised to sow maize, sorghum, groundnut during Aadipattam

Coimbatore | Updated on July 02, 2014 Published on July 02, 2014

Aadipattam is an important cropping season under the rainfed system in Tamil Nadu. Cereals, oilseeds and vegetables are the crops usually grown during this season. The South West monsoon determines the production of crops. The monsoon this year though has been predicted to be below normal.

What should farmers do in such a situation?

The Back Office of Agro Marketing Intelligence and Business Promotion Cell in the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, conducted a study and shared a price forecast for kharif crops such as maize, sorghum, gingelly, groundnut and small onions.

Based on their survey and discussions with traders in markets across Tamil Nadu, farm varsity experts have advised growers to take to sowing of maize, sorghum, gingelly, groundnut and small onions.

Maize

The global maize production estimated at 979.1 mt in 2014-15 is 1.25 per cent higher than the earlier year’s production. The price has started to slide because of estimated high-end stock and good crop in the US, the world’s largest producer.

The Department of Agriculture, Government of India, has estimated production at 23 mt, which is 2 per cent higher than the earlier year's crop.

Perambalur, Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dindigul and Tirupur are the major maize growing belts in Tamil Nadu. The State's contribution to the national yield is roughly around 7.25 per cent.

Currently, maize rules around Rs 1,480 per quintal. Farmers are said to hold about 15,000 tonnes of maize sown during the previous season (thaipattam). Besides this, arrivals from Bihar are flowing into Tamil Nadu at sub-Rs 1,400 a quintal.

Yet, farmers were advised to take to cultivation of maize this season.

Asked to explain the logic, the University told Business Line that the price has remained stable and there is the minimum support price, which the grower can fall back on.

'There is demand for maize from the poultry industry and the crop, when grown under irrigated conditions gives better yield. Further, during the harvest (October–November 2014), arrivals from Karnataka will tend to drop, giving the State farmer an edge'.

Sorghum

It is cultivated mainly for grain and fodder purposes. The major sorghum growing areas in Tamil Nadu are Dindigul, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Salem, Karur and Tirupur.

The major landraces and varieties are manjal cholam, Vellai cholam, Kari cholam, Karareddu cholum.

The area has fallen drastically in the past decade due mostly to low demand and price.

Yet farmers are advised to take to aadipattam sowing as demand is expected to pick up if maize prices reign high.

The price is expected to rule around Rs 18–19 a kg at harvest.

Gingelly and Groundnut

The production of this oilseed crop is dependent on the weather.

Analysis and traders’ surveys has revealed that the price of red gingelly would hover around Rs 8,500 and Rs 8,700 a quintal at harvest (September – October) and that of groundnut pods at around Rs 4,200 – 4,300 a quintal in Sevur regulated market, Tirupur district.

Small onion

The area under small onion has swelled in recent years.

Though the farm gate price of good quality small onions halved to Rs 22 a kg from a high of Rs 45 and Rs 80 a kg a year ago, farm varsity experts say an expansion in area and decline in exports during the current year contributed to the steep drop in price levels.

'But prices could go up during harvest time due to increased demand and start of the festival season'.

The source ruled out shortage in seed availability.

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Published on July 02, 2014
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