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Agriculture & Horticulture in Theni District

In the hilly areas of the district i.e., Uthamapalayam, Periyakulam etc. crops like fruits, vegetables and flowers are grown, which are supplied to other district in the state and also to some northern states.Paddy is cultivated twice in a year. The normal seasons for cultivation of paddy are June-August and September-December. During these seasons short and long term crops are sown. Dung, leaf manure, tank silt, Municipal compost and oil Cake besides chemical fertilisers, are the important manure used in the district. Cumbu and groundnuts are also cultivated. Ragi, which is the staple food of the poorest class, is mostly grown as crops like paddy. Cotton is also sown in rainfed and irrigated areas. Plantain is commonly grown in almost all of the taluks.

Land Utilisation

According to the land utilisation pattern only 40 % of it is under agriculture. Excluding the forest area which is 34%, the remaining 26% of land may be brought under waste land development programme in order tom augment the revenue and to make use of the agricultural labourers throughout the year.

1. Forest Lands (34%)

2. Non available for Cultivation (10%)

3. Other Uncultivated Lands (3%)

4. Fallow Lands (12%)

5. Cropped Area (40%)

6. Cultivable Fallow Lands (1%)

Trend in production and productivity of important crops

Cereals, pulses and oil seeds are observed that to are the three important crops produced in the district. The productivity pattern over the past 15 years indicates that the productivity of cereals and pulses has fluctuated but the productivity of oil seeds had increased during except 1992-94 period. The area under production for cereals, pulses and oil seeds has also fluctuated during the last 15 years.

Horticultural and plantation crops

The total area under horticulture and plantation crops works at to a merge 15% to the total area under agriculture. More areas at the foothills of Western Ghats may be under flower crops.

There were fruit crops with an yield of 2,84,860 tonnes, vegetables crops of 33,960 tonnes and plantation crops like coriander, cardamom etc are of 140 tonnes cultivated and flower crops of an yield of 1,065 tonnes cultivated in 12913 3ha, 4553 ha, 1404 ha and 404 ha respectively in the years 1995-96.

Consumption of fertilisers and pesticides

Information of the consumption of fertilisers and pesticides used during 1997- 1998 period only available. About 16,565 metric tonnes of chemical fertilisers were used in 1997-98. Out of which, 56.92% of nitrogenous fertilisers, 25.5% of Phosphatic and 17.58% of Pottasic were used in the same period.

There has also been an intensive use of Bio fertilisers (1,26,657 pockets) in the district, followed by Urea (13,986 MT) in 1997-98. 13,222 kgs of dust and 26,035 liters of liquid pesticides were also used in 1997-98 period. The block wise details of chemical fertilisers, urea, bio-fertilisers and pesticides were not available.

Trend in consumption of fertilisers and pesticides

About 30551 metric tonnes of chemical fertilisers and 126657 pockets of Bio-Fertilisers are used in 1997- 1998 for Theni district. Pesticides (Dust and Liquid) are also used during 1997-98 in the district.

Soil types

Red loam soil is the predominant Soil type in this district accounting for 37.48% followed by red sandy soil of 14.53%. The other types of soils are lateritic soil, black soil, and sandy soil.

Soil problems

Problematic soil covers 34.44% of the total area of the district. About 13.77% of the land available for cultivation are prone to soil gullied, Ravenous land, followed by Salinity/Alkalinity 9.92%. Sandy desert (6.34%), Water logging & marshy land (2.20%) and Prone to Floods (2.20%) are the other types of soil problems in the district.

Status of soil and water conservation programs

There were 1567 check dam/stop dam constructions in this district. Cropping area where soil conservation works are undertaken in the district is 84,268 hec.

Animal husbandry

Cattle and buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs are the main livestock of this district, in addition to the poultry birds. Under a special animal husbandry programme different schemes like calf rearing scheme, poultry production and piggery production etc. are being implemented. A number of co-operation institutions have been set up and are working for the development of livestock.

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