Promotional achievement of cotton in Gudiyatham Taulk of Vellore district
The farmers of Gudiyatham block in Vellore District were incurring loss in raising rainfed crops due to the severe scarcity of water and poor yield. To overcome these problems and to sustain the productivity and income, Bt cotton production technologies were introduced through front line demonstrations and trainings during 2009 in an area of 50 acres at Gudiyatham Taulk by KVK, Virinjipuram. Also, farmers were sensitized with cotton marketing strategies with the help of few buyers from Thirupathur which was one of the major cotton market in Vellore District. Having convinced about the production technologies, the farmers agreed to cultivate cotton with the technical support advocated by the KVK scientists. The average kapas yield recorded in the FLD demonstrations was 17.76 q/ha, that is 38.10% increase in yield over the check. The lowest yield recorded in the FLD plot was 14.98 q/ha. The gross return of FLD plot was Rs.56,857/ha. when compared with the check of Rs. 38,606/ha. The net return of the FLD plot was Rs.31, 699/- (56 % increase in net income). The B: C ratio of FLD plot was 2.26 and the check was 1.86. By witnessing the successful cotton crop and an increase in net income of the farmers from the front line demonstrations, large numbers of farmers of that area were motivated and this triggered the adoption and diffusion of Bt cotton technologies. With the demand from farmers, Cotton Regulatory market has also been established in the region because of farmers demand. Having convinced about the production technologies promoted, the farmers exhibited keen interest in skill development. They formed groups and approached the scientists for skill oriented training at their doorstep.
Expansion of cotton area in Gudiyatham block
Many such trainings and demos were conducted at Velleri village from the onset of the cropping season. Because of the good rapport with scientists, farmers clarify their doubts before getting into any work. This has highly reduced the usage of pesticides in this area. To each farmer, cost for pesticides was alone cut down by Rs.3000 per acre. During this current season (2016-17), Bt cotton is cultivated in Suraloor, Velleri, Sengunram, Goodamangalam and Periyathambiyur villages of Gudiyatham block covering 3245 acres. One of the progressive cotton farmer of this area, Thiru Venkatachalam, Velleri village expects a highest kapas yield of 18.5q/ha this year.