Allimuthu has grafted showing the mango tree in which more than 20 varieties have been grafted onto a single mango tree in order to get produce the whole year round in his farm at Namakkal, Tamil
Nadu. For more information readers can contact Mr. P. Allimuthu, Rasipuram taluka, Minakal post, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, mobile: 94435-11253, 94422-64273 and phone:04287-264273

FARMER'S NOTEBOOK: Tasting the fruits of labour, in season, out of season, M.J.PRABHU, The Hindu, June 18, 2009

More often than not, agricultural discoveries or innovations by farmers come out of necessity and not an accident. Farmers know the practical problems both on and off the field, and keep thinking about solutions.

“A farmer invests money, time and labour and must get a good price for his produce to survive,” says P. Allimuthu a mango farmer of Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu. Own example “Take my own case as an example,” he says:

“Some years back I cultivated some mangoes and got a good price during the season. But once the season ended, like many others, I had no work. “Unlike office goers, who get salaries all through the year, we get income only during the season and for the rest of the year we either remain idle or
start working for the next season. “By that time our pockets would have thinned and we used to hunt around for money to keep our home fires burning. Continuing trend “Since our forefathers’ days this has been the trend for us and many others.

“This made me think that if only the trees bore fruits all through the year, they would continue to fetch income. I did not know how to bring this about initially.

But after interacting with the staff of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in my area, during a farmers’ meet, “I learnt that through grafting, a single mango tree can be made to bear different fruit varieties throughout the year,” explains Mr. Allimuthu. After attending some training programmes the farmer started grafting some of his trees. Solution

“Usually mango farmers cite pest infestation or low bearing as the reason for cutting down their trees. But I learnt through personal experience that by grafting, low yielding trees can also be made to bear more fruits,” he says. Pointing to a tree he says:

“If you look closely at this tree you can notice that more than 20 varieties are grafted in this and I get different fruits all through the year.” Good yield

Unlike a single variety, a tree in which different varieties are grafted may not give the same yield, but if a majority of trees in a farm are grafted then one can get a good yield (different varieties) all through the year, according to him.

The farmer further elaborates:

“Farmers should understand that to get a good price, they must be able to supply their produce even during lean periods and if possible throughout the year.

“Mangoes are available only during a particular season and one cannot command a good price during the season. Lean period

“We are at the mercy of the buyers during peak season. But if you can supply during lean periods then the farmer dictates terms to the buyer,” the farmer says.

At present Mr. Allimuthu teaches a number of farmers to graft their own seedlings. “Interested farmers can visit my farm and learn to graft their required varieties. I am also selling the grafted seedlings at Rs. 50 per seedling,” he says.

For more information readers can contact Mr. P. Allimuthu, Rasipuram taluka, Minakal post, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, mobile: 94435-11253, 94422-64273 and phone:04287-264273.