Monday, January 28, 2013

Integrated weed management is necessary for Banana cultivation.

Banana plant care in SEVAI Kalanjium farm in Amoor

“Integrated weed management is necessary for Banana cultivation’ Sakthivel of Kalanjuim farm in Amoor (a project of SEVAI) oriented the members of women self help group farmers of Amoor area in Kalanjium centre. He further detailed,Banana is one of the most important major fruit crops grown in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, bananas are so predominant and popular among people that poor and rich alike like the fruit. Considering the nutritive value and fruit value of bananas, it is the cheapest among all other fruits in the country. India is believed to be one of the centres of origin of banana. Fertility of soil is very important for successful cultivation, as banana is a heavy feeder. Banana is one of the few fruits, which has a restricted root zone. Hence, depth and drainage are the two most important considerations in selecting the soil for banana. The soil suitable for banana should be 0.5 1m in depth, rich, well drained, fertile, moisture retentive, containing plenty of organic matter. Banana is grown in Tamil Nadu on a variety of soils of the Cauvery delta and the red lateritic soil of the hilly tracts. Banana is essentially tropical plant requiring a warm and humid climate. Yields are higher when temperatures are above 24°C for a considerable period. Poovan is a leading commercial cultivar grown in Tamil Nadu. It is generally cultivated as a perennial crop. Tamil Nadu is the leading producer of Poovan cultivar owing to its climatic and marginal soil condition. Poovan is also commercially cultivated for leaf industry throughout Tamil Nadu. Fruit is slightly acidic, firm and has typical sour-sweet aroma. Fruits turn to attractive golden yellow on ripening. Medium sized bunch, closely packed fruits, good keeping quality and resistant to fruit cracking is its plus points. Nendran is a popular variety where it is relished as a fruit as well as used for processing. Commercial cultivation of Nendran has picked up rapidly in Tamil Nadu in the recent past. Nendran is known to display considerable diversity in plant stature, pseudostem colour, presence or absence of male axis, bunch size, etc. Bunch has 5-6 hands weighing about 12-15 kg. Fruits have a distinct neck with thick green skin turning buff yellow on ripening. Fruits remain as starchy even on ripening. Monthan is a widely cultivated variety for processing. Monthan is a fairly tall and robust plant bearing bunches of 18-20 kg after 12 months. Fruits are bold, stocky, knobbed and pale green in colour. The skin is usually green. Apart from its culinary use of fruits, pseudostem core is a highly relished vegetable with many medicinal properties. Monthan is also cultivated for production of leaves in Trichy district of Tamil Nadu. Commercial bananas are seedless and propagated exclusively by vegetative means. The banana has a reduced underground stem, called the rhizome, which bears several buds. Each of these buds sprouts and forms its own pseudostem and a new bulbous rhizome. These daughter plants are called suckers. Banana is mostly propagated by rhizomes and suckers viz. sword suckers and water suckers. The fertilizer dose depends upon the fertility of soil and amount of organic manure applied to the crop. Spading is commonly used and normally four spadings a year are effective in controlling weeds. Integrated weed management by including cover crops, judicious use of herbicides, intercropping and hand weeding wherever necessary will contribute in increased production”. -Govin

Saturday, January 26, 2013

SEVAI Proposes for setting up a goat farm in Trichy

Goat Market survey

“SEVAI Proposes for setting up a goat farm in Trichy” said Selvamani, the field coordinator of SEVAI.Selvamani, a SEVAI functionary who has experience in Goat rearing is preparing with other members of SEVAI SHGs and functionaries of SEVAI for setting up a goat rearing project. Selvamani undertakes a detailed survey of goat farms, and also visited Goats market in Samayapuram to know the wide range of goats which can sustain the climatic conditions of SEVAI target area of Trichy rural areas. Selvamani comes out with his early findings that aside from establishing a daily routine of feeding, watering, exercising and grazing the goats, there should also be a monthly or bi-monthly, semi-annually or annually schedule to follow to include cleaning or grooming, hair trimming, hoof trimming, and veterinary checkups. Goats are extremely hardy creatures and they are the ‘poor man’s cow’ and they are Hardy – thriving in harsh conditions, Easy and cheap to feed as they eat almost anything, Breed rapidly, A great source of manure, and Give healthy & nutritious milk, and meat either for household consumption or for income. Because of this they are great for poor families. So, with even a few goats, a household is able to sell the kids at the local market, drink the vitamin-rich milk, and even save some cash. In poor villages women are typically the most disadvantaged – supporting most of the family burdens, children, water, health, nutrition, etc,… but totally dependent on their men-folk for money. SEVAI identifies the most vulnerable people within the communities who received goats from Government and train them in goat-rearing and management. They can basically thrive on just about any food source, and the known breeds we have today are especially resilient to most diseases and ailments that affect many farm animals. SEVAI proposes to undertake goat rearing project and takes initial steps for a successful goat farming.SEVAI team has dialogue with local communities and also experts to decide early on as to what kind of goats to raise. It is understood that there are goats that are valued for their milk and meat. It is also a good way of limiting expenses when it comes to buying goat rearing tools. The team also discusses and to decide exactly how many animals would be viable for goat farm; and this being done in relation to the size of available land, SEVAI team opines “although goats are herd creatures, they do not thrive well in solitary existence and SEVAI tries to get at least a couple of pairs of goats to rear. One way of ensuring that to have an easy time goat rearing is to make sure that SEVAI chooses and builds the goats' house carefully and earmark a patch of land where this project grows the fodder for goats and it is decided to ensure that the space is properly ventilated especially during warmer seasons with a good drainage system to help keep the area clear of animal wastes, enough bedding space for each goat about 4 meters of floor space each, with separate feeding and watering stations, the focus is on Quality than Quantity. All of the standards and actions required regarding basic goat care, health and welfare apply equally to the farming of goats. The large numbers of goats require substantial adaptation and adjustment to housing, feeding, general management and marketing strategies”. -Govin

Well nourished Female calves of the cows with the best milking records turns to be better cows of future

Calf care in SEVAI-OFI-Volunteers project

“Well nourished Female calves of the cows with the best milking records turns to be better cows of future” said Hugues,SEVAI-OFI Volunteers project associate mentioned.OF-SEVAI-volunteers Project in Sirugamani keeps an eye on the newborn calf for the first few hours to ensure that its mother is taking care of it. Occasionally a mother rejects her calf. The Project team encourages the new mother to look after her calf. Calves are given water to drink water between their feeds of milk from one to two weeks of age as lack of water will cause the death of a calf faster than the lack of any other nutrient. Only clean, fresh drinking water is given. Water is also especially important for calves if they have diarrhea. The period from weaning until breeding age is most important in the development of heifers to become dairy cows. Hugues, the OFI-SEVAI cow project associate and K.Devendran and cow project team had a discussion on cow rearing and the outcome of the discussions has been summarized as, “If calves are penned away from the cows for part of each day, the farm participants need to remember to allow the first milk, colostrums, to the calf during the first 24 hours. The calf should be allowed to have all that it wants. This is essential if is to remain healthy. Calves will begin to nibble grass or other forage material from the first day of birth It is important to allow them to do this if they are to develop their stomachs normally for eating grass. If they are penned, they must have grass offered to them all the time. By one month of age, calves must be eating grass and some concentrate which should both be available to the calf from birth and to introduce calves to concentrates gradually, and watch how much they are eating, Give them a little more each day once they begin to eat it. Any concentrate which the calf does not eat on the day it is given, should be taken away and replaced with fresh feed. Calves will feed independently on grass and concentrate from about 2 weeks onwards. Calves can only be completely weaned from milk of good quality dry feed such as concentrate meal and the calves are eating enough of it before milk is completely withdrawn. The cheapest way to rear a calf is to give it plenty of young, growing, nutritious pasture from birth onwards. Grass and legumes are much cheaper than milk to feed, and milk may be gradually withdrawn, starting when the calves seem to be eating grass and concentrate independently. It is a good idea to increase their interest in grass and concentrates”.Hugues further said,” There are several advantages to raising heifers and it is important to maintain  keeping records, and select heifers from the best performing cows. The cows with the best milking records will probably have the most suitable daughters as replacements to avoid introducing diseases onto farm with bought replacements, always isolate new animals for a week or two to ensure they don't introduce diseases to farm animals, as dairying is popular, good replacements may be difficult to buy when we need them, we never really know the potential of purchased replacements, because farmers usually only sell those animals they don't want. They seldom sell their best producing heifers. That is why; we need to take care of the OFI-SEVAI-Cow project females with optimum care and concern. The calves are to be fed well so that they grow well and will mate at an early age; the project has to adapt local feeds to suit purpose on formulating diets for dairy cattle.-Govin

Thursday, January 24, 2013

“Reckless driving is the root cause of road accidents”

“Reckless driving is the root cause of road accidents” said Kandasamy a resident of Sirugamani who witnessed the road accident where four persons died in a road accident on the Tiruchi-Karur national highway at Sirugamani near Trichy on Wednesday morning, the 23rd, January 2013.Four persons, including a 4-year-old girl, were killed and four were injured when a speeding car dashed against three motor cycles in which the deceased were riding at Sirugamani on The Tiruchirapalli-Karur National Highway. The car was proceeding to Tiruchirapalli from Mettupalayam in Coimbatore District when the driver of the car lost control after a tyre burst. The deceased were identified as B Nallathambi of Ponmalaipatti, V Kathan of Sirugamani, Ms Thenmozhi and S Durgadevi of Tiruvalarcholai. The injured were admitted to a private hospital. The Jeeyapuram police have registered a case.Kandasamy further said, “Several accidents happens in NH 67 between Pettavaithalai and Trichy. The road construction of NH 67 is long pending with potholes, most of the accidents occur due to lack of driving knowledge, the big factors responsible for accidents are-drinking, reckless driving ,bad conditions of the roads, careless driving. There should be couple of things, if implemented can make traveling by road safe such as drivers should not drink and drive, avoid speaking on the cell while driving, Kids under 18 must not be allowed to drive, Adequate warnings and signals on the road must be provided to the driver, The person next to the driver must not sleep, The driver must not drive after a heavy meal which might induce sleep,. Loud music and talks must be avoided and the vehicles are to be road worthy”.-Govin

Rangoli is drawn in front of the house as a faith and tradition

Kolam for Pongal festival in Amoor cottages

“Rangoli is drawn in front of the house as a faith and tradition” said Devi a rural woman in Sirugamani village. She also said, “Rangoli is known as Kolam. Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, or flower and petal shapes appropriate for the given celebrations. Kolams are decorative designs made on the floors of living rooms and courtyards in Tamilnadu. Kolam represents a philosophy of life that enthusiastically celebrates the impermanence of knowing and devotes itself to a constant wish to live in the present. The idea that tomorrow will be renewed, which is the purpose of the rangoli, is one of the greatest concerning this symbol. Women may make rangoli at the entrance to every room of the house. Rangoli created with icons, such as the swastika, lotus flower, etc., are considered indicators of prosperity. The art has become a part of the family. It is a symbol of human spirit and an important means to realize cultural feelings. Rangoli symbolizes joy and happiness. Rangoli drawn by chalk or stone powder using interconnecting dots or flowery designs are most often. They are meant to be sacred welcoming areas. The ancient symbols have been passed down through the ages, from each generation to the next, keeping both the art form and the tradition alive. The patterns are typically created with materials including colored rice, dry flour, and colored sand. The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design-depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by women. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, celebrations of marriages and other similar milestones and gatherings. Therefore this art rich - poor is prevalent in all homes. Hospitality and tourism has also had its effect and it has been developed. Rangoli is made in two ways, dry and wet. Both a generous and is created by adding other points. The designs are usually inspired by nature, but they can also be in the form of abstract art”.-Govin