The Veppanthattai Cotton Research Station in the district, affiliated with the Agricultural University of Tamil Nadu, has successfully raised fish in its farm ponds to demonstrate the possibility of increasing farmers’ incomes.

Heavy rains of 1160 mm in the district in 2020, 45% more than the normal level, contributed to the use of the harvested water for multiple purposes, including growing additional short-lived crops and fish farming. .

Multiple Use of Harvested Rainwater (MUHRW) was an innovative approach for poverty reduction and improving water productivity in drylands, said S. Somasundaram, Associate Professor and Chief of the cotton research station.

After the cotton harvest, the mainstay of the region, additional short-term crops such as chickpeas and cowpeas were grown with the water harvested alongside the fish farming.

K. Sakthivel, assistant professor (plant breeding and genetics), said the fry of catla, roghu, mirgal, silver poop and grass carp that were left in the farm pond in October 2020 were harvested last month.

The success of the fish production prompted farmers to try it in the coming season in their farm ponds, he added.