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India: Water problems force growers to switch to horticulture crops

A transition from agriculture to horticulture is happening in the districts of Tamil Nadu, with the rains being the cause. Vegetables, fruits and flowers are now favoured by farmers, where paddy and sugarcane ruled earlier. In the past two years, horticulture increased by 16.7 percent.

Due to the erratic monsoon and lack of water in several localities, farmers in the region are switching over to horticulture. A study by the horticultural department noticed that horticultural crops account for at least 45 percent in the region and vegetable cultivation witnessed a 2 percent rise in the past two years. According to the data, cashew cultivation accounts for 30 percent, while vegetables and fruits have cornered 15 percent.

Speaking to, a senior horticulture department official said: “Horticulture is leading in several parts of the district, including the delta region, which are facing water scarcity due to the erratic monsoon. For the first time, Thanjavur, the rice bowl of the state, has also seen farmers turning to vegetables and fruits.”

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