Mixing plantation with cash crops pays off in dry areas


About 100km south of Chennai, as a road branches off the Grand Southern Trunk Road near Kancheepuram, an agricultural patch emerges, different from the rest. Amid pulses and paddy that struggle to stay alive in the summer, teak and casuarina trees stand tall.

The farmer, Suresh Kumar, doesn't fit the stereotype. A chemistry graduate, he left a private job in 2003 for farming. "My father was ailing," he says, "and the land beckoned". Unlike others who cultivated water-intensive cash crops like paddy and pulses, drilling bore wells when the nearby Palar river dried up, Kumar raised teak and casuarina that need less water......................Read more

 

Source: The Times of India


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