N.H._47_-_Near_Chunkankadai,_Kanyakumari_DistrictPART I – AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is, and always has been, an activity involving a clos interaction with the environment. Soil, climate, topographic, hydrologicj and biological conditions together, exert a major control upon farmin operations and profitability of Agriculture.

Land Reclamation  Due to population growth, the original forest ha been largely denuded or seriously degraded by long continued excessiv and unwise use. Even where the need for fuel and construction materu can be met from more distant forests, it comes at last to be realized the the destruction of forests cover is liable to cause disastrous landslips an soil erosion, particularly on sloping ground. This leads to the undertakin of reclamation work.

In Kanniyakumari, the soil is mostly loamy and assumes sandy o clayey character depending on the accumulations of wash on the surface The depth of the soils varies widely. In valleys and low lying areas wher< the wash from the surrounding hills accumulate, the soil is fairly deep an< such places often support vegetation. On the hill slopes and elevate* grounds which are subject to heavy wash, the soil has a characteristic yellow or reddish yellow colour. On the tops and higher slopes of hill: where the wash is excessive, the ground is rocky and soil shallow an< hard.3

Land Utilisation : Land classification in its essentials simply mean giving various distinctive classes of soils by suitable names an descriptions.

The Land classification in the Kanniyakumari district is as follows

  1. Total Geographical area – (in Hectares)

(a)        By Professional survey                                  167267

(b)        By Village papers                                            167267

  1. Barren and uncultivable lands             4198/4123 5
  2. Lands put to non – agricultural uses             23827
  3. Cultivable waste                                     143
  4. Permanent pastures and other grazing lands 102
  5. Lands under miscellaneous trees and groves not included in the net area 230
  6. Current fallows                                     2037
  7. Other fallow lands.                                     1439
  8. Net area sown             80802
  9. Area sown more than once                         18263
  10. Total cropped area                                     99


Classification of area under different categories 6 : Comparative statement on the percentage to the total area of the Kanniyakumari district and Tamil Nadu for the year 1983-84.


Soil Erosion: Soil deterioration arises in two ways i.e. by soil exhaustion and soil erosion. The control of both is known as soil conservation. Soil exhaustion is generally caused by overcropping of land. By rotation of crops and by appropriate manuring of SOj| exhaustion can be postponed for a long time.

It also involves dislodging of the soil particles from the bed and the transportation from one place to another due to the action of wind or water in motion. Due to the destruction of forests and unscientific cultural practices, the acceleration of erosion is triggered.

Need for Soil Conservation:   The Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute has reckoned that the average annual soil losses vary from 2.4 tonnes to 112.50 tonnes per hectare depending on the land use pattern. Further, the effect of such erosion can be seen from the premature siltation of the reservoirs. Soil conservation practices are both biological and mechanical.

The soil conservation measures are probably better known than the causes and characteristics of erosion. The most spectacular example of soil conservation measure that has been followed in India since time immemorial is terracing (generally bench terrace type) which is formed in almost all the villages.

The severe erosion of soil, particularly in hilly, undulating tracts, is responsible for the loss of fertile top soil.Contour bunding and terrace cultivation are necessary for the reclamation of undulating eroded land.

The soil conservation work undertaken by the Agricultural Engineering Department in Kanniyakumari district is as foilows:-

The mechanical sub-division at Tirunelveli caters to the needs of the farmers in Kanniyakumari district. This department is looking after the land development, minor irrigation and soil and water conservation. The mechanical sub division also provides technical guidance and required agricultural machineries to the needy farmers. There is permanent soil sub division functioning at Nagercoil. Since this district mainly comprises of hilly region, only contour stone wall works are executed under watershed management to conserve, manage and develop soil and water resources to promote dryland in this district.

Details of Conservation work done from 1980-81 to 1985-86 are as follows10

Year of execution (1)  Area covered (in hectare) (2)  Amount spent (Rs. in lakhs) (3)

1980 -81                                  504                                          8.54

1981-82                                   478                                          9.18

1982-83                                   360                                          8.49

1983-84                                   541                                          13.59

1984-85                                   750                                          14.44

1985-86                                   760                                          17.14


In Kanniyakumari district cover crop with Pueraria Javanica is raised as biological conservation practice in rubber plantations, and contour stone walls are constructed under mechanical conservation method since the majority of the area is under the slope group of 10 to 60 per cent. The execution of contour stone watts are done on watershed basin from ridge to valley.

Kanniyakumari district is divided into 3 major river basins viz., Thamparavarani, Pazhayar and Valliyar river basins.These watersheds are further classified into sub watersheds and micro watersheds.

Contour stone walls are constructed with the locally available stones or stones removed from the fields.. The cost of construction of contour stone walls varies from Rs.6000/- to Rs. 10,000/- based on the slopes and availability of stones at site. The Government of Tamil Nadu have fixed the unit cost as Rs.6,500/- per ha. marginal contribution.

A gross subsidy of 40 per cent on the expenditure (Cost of works + 25 per cent of cost of works) is allowed to the farmers and the balance is recovered in ten equal instalments after two years of completion of the works with the interest of 12 per cent per annum from them. The total area covered with soil conservation measures from the inception, of the scheme (i.e. from 1964 to date) is 4466 hectares in the district and a sum

of Rs.99 lakhs was spent. The Government have granted an additional 10 per cent subsidy to SC/ST farmers under the scheme from 1985 – 86.

Yield estimate with and without Soil Conservation in Rubber Plantation: Yield/Kg.ha. Year

(1) With Project (2) Without Project (3)         Net Yield (4)0 (at start)

900                  900                              0

I           970                  880                              90

II         1030                860                              170

III        1070                840                              230

IV        1110                810                              300

V         1140                780                              360

VI        1140                750                              390

Climate : The district has a favourable agro-climatic condition, which is suitable for growing a number of crops. The proximity to equator, its topography and other climate factors favour the growth of varied crops.

The agro-climatic conditions prevailing in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks are different from what is prevailing in Thovalai and Agasthiswaram taluks as is evidenced from the typical example noted hereunder, the paddy varieties grown in the second crop season in Thovalai and Agasthiswaram taluks are grown during the first crop season in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks. This shows that there is distinct variation in the climatic conditions prevailing within the district.

Monsoons : Unlike other districts in Tamil Nadu, the district has a unique advantage of rainfall both during the south west and north east monsoons. The South west monsoon period starts from the month of June and ends in September, while the north east monsoon period starts from October and ends in the middle of December. The rainfall is generally very high in the northern parts of the district and considerably low in the southern parts of the district. The average rainfall of the district is 1465 mm. and this is based on average rainfall for the past 50 years as detailed below:-

Month war rainfall distribution (Based on 50 years average) —

January:                       20.59   mm.

February:                     26.79   mm.

March  :                       49.93   mm.

April:                           121.02 mm.

May:                            160.89 mm.

June:                            192.56 mm.

July:                             128.93 mm

August            :                       94.96   mm.

September:                  120.85 mm.

October:                      256.77 mm.

November:                  206.58 mm.

December:                   85.38   mm.

Total                            1464.95mm. or 1465   mm.     Soil

(V        Area in hectare (2)

.1.        Coarse loamy, Lithic Ustorthents       2446

  1. Fine loamy, Lithic Troporthents 1847
  2. Typic Tropopsamments 1171
  3. Coarse loamy, Fluventic Dystropepts 2731
  4. Fine loamy, Typic Dystropepts 31774
  5. Coarse loamy, Fluventic Eutropepts 4222

7,         Loamy, Typic Eutropepts       4851

8          Fine loamy, Udic Rhodudalfs            8894

  1. Fine loamy, Udic Haplustalfs. 1658
  2. Coarse loamy, Aquic Tropudalfs 9224
  3. Fine loamy, Typic Tropudalfs 23588
  4. Typic Udipsamments 2342
  5. Fine loamy, aquic Haplustalfs 7894


ORDER : Orders reflect the kind and degree of soil. The soils of Kanniyakumari district come under three orders namely Entisols, Inceptisols and Alfisols. Each order is divided into sub order. The sub order reflects the properties that influence soil genesis and plant grown. Soils are further classified under great group, sub group, family and series etc.

Soils and crop suitability – 1. Coarse Loamy Uthlc Ustorthents : This comes under Entisol of red soil group. These soils are very shallow to shallow coarse loamy, yellowish brown light textured non calcareous soils. There is no structural development, having lithic contact within 30 cm. from the surface. These soils occupy on the summit of the sloping land and are subjected to severe sheet erosion and have rapid permeability. These soils are suitable for the cultivation of paddy and banana.

  1. Fine loamy Llthlc Troporthents : This comes under Entisol of red soils. These soils are yellowish red, moderately deep, fine loamy, non calcareous, well drained neutral soils derived from gneissic parent material. Physiographically t^e soils occupy on the summit of sloping

lands and are subjected to severe sheet erosion. This quality of soils is best suited for banana under irrigated and rubber and tapioca in rainfed. Surface soil colour ranges from yellowish red to reddish brown.

  1. Typic Tropopsamments : These types of soils belong to Entisol of coastal alluvium. They are very pale brown, very deep, sandy, single grained, calcareous, excessively drained and developed from coastal alluvium. They are susceptible to wind erosion and best suited for growing coconuts.
  2. Coarse Loamy Fluventic Dystropepts : These soils belong to Inceptisol of alluvial soil group. They are reddish brown, moderately deep, coarse loamy, well drained with moderately rapid permeability. They occur on undulating topography and subjected to sheet erosion. These soils are best suited for growing coconuts.
  3. Fine Loamy Typic Dystropepts : Soils under this family belong to Inceptisol of red soil group. They are reddish brown, very deep fine loamy and non calcareous, strongly acidic well drained with moderately slow permeability. They occur on sloping lands of undulating topography and are subjected to moderate sheet erosion. These soils are best suited for growing paddy under irrigated and tapioca under rainfed. The surface texture ranges from sandy clay loam to clay loam.
  4. Coarse Loamy, Fluventic Eutropepts : These types of soils belong to Inceptisol of alluvial soil group. These soils are dark yellowish brown, very deep coarse loamy, moderately well drained and non calcareous soils with moderately rapid permeability and occur on sloping lands susceptible from slight to moderate sheet erosion. They are best suited for growing paddy,banana and groundnut. The surface texture ranges from sandy loam to sandy clay loam.
  5. Loamy, Typic Eutropepts : These varieties of soils belong to Inceptisol of Red sand soil. They are yellowish red, deep, gravelly clay loam, non calcareous, medium acidic well drained and moderately rapid permeability. Physiographically, these soils occupy sloping lands of undulating topography and are subjected to severe sheet erosion. They are best suited for growing cole crops under irrigated and rubber under rainfed. The surface texture ranges from gravelly loam to sandy clay loam.
  6. Fine Loamy, Udic Rhodudalfs : Soils under this family belong to Alfisol of red loam soil. They are dark red, deep, sandy clay loam texture, non calcareous, well drained, slightly acidic soil and moderately rapid permeability. Physiographically these soils occur mainly adjacent to coastal alluvium and on the side slopes of undulating topography and are subjected to rill and gully erosion. These soils are best suited for growing cashew, mango and tapioca. The surface texture ranges from sandy clay loam to clay loam.
  7. Fine Loamy, Udic Haplustalfs : This family belongs to Alfisol of Red loam. These soils are dark brown soil, deep, fine loamy, non calcareous, well drained moderately rapid permeability. The structure development of the soil is moderate. These soils occur on sloping lands of undulating topography and they are best suited for growing paddy, pulses and banana.
  8. Coarse Loamy, Aquic Tropudaifs : These soils belong to alfisol of red and sandy soil. They are yellowish brown, deep, coarse loamy, noncalcareous, moderately drained acid soils with moderate permeability. Physiographically, these soils occur on valley of undulating topography and are subjected to moderate sheet erosion. The soils are best suited for growing paddy. The surface texture ranges from sandy clay loam to clay loam.
  9. Fine Loamy, Typic Tropudaifs: These soils belong to Alfisol of red loam soils. They are dark grayish brown, very deep, fine loamy, non¬calcareous, imperfectly drained soils with moderately slow permeability. Physiographically, they occur on gently sloping lands and susceptible to moderate sheet erosion. They are best suited for growing paddy and pulses. The surfaceAexture ranges from sandy clay loam to clay loam.
  10. Typic Udipsamments: These soils belong to Entisol of coastal alluvium and are red and grayish brown, sandy deep to moderately deep, coarse single grained texture, calcareous as well as non-calcareous, excessively drained, developed from coastal alluvium. These soils have rapid permeability, subjected to wind erosion are best suited for growing coconuts and palmyrah.
  11. Fine Loamy, Acquic Haplustalfs: These soils belong to Alfisol. They are dark gray, very deep, fine loamy, imperfectly drained and calcareous soils and have a moderately slow permeability. They occur on gently sloping lands and are subjected to slight sheet erosion. These soils are best suited for growing only paddy. The surface texture ranges from sandy clay loam to silty clay loam.

Popularly known as the granary of former Travancore State, Kanniyakumari district is famous for its vast stretches of paddy fields and rich forests. There are three main soil groups in the district. Laterite types of soils occur in #the blocks of Thiruvattar, Munchirai, Kurunthencode, Rajakkamangalam, Killiyoor, Thuckalai and Melpuram. Mixed types of red and alluvial soil occur in Agasthiswaram and Thovalai blocks. Soils are mostly red loam and lateritic in nature, with coastal alluvium in the southern side. The lateritic and red loam soils are poor to medium in fertility, while the coastal alluvium is high in fertility.

The soils are sandy to sandy loam in texture. In major area of Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, lime status is “Nil” due to the occurrence of more area under acid condition. The high, acidity prevalent in the district is mainly due to the heavy rainfall and heavy leaching of bases in the hilly areas.

Crops like, tea, coffee, rubber, coconut, cocoa, pine apple, cloves and pepper are cultivated in high level lands, coconut, arecanut, paddy and banana in low level lands and paddy, coconut, banana tapioca, groundnut, and vegetables in the mid lands. In orchards, mango, citrus, cashew, and jack are the important fruit bearing trees raised. Field is quite appreciable, in high level, low lands and mid lands, if monsoon sets in at the appropriate time. Since, the district is gifted with rich forests, seasonal rains are not uncommon and so scarcity of water for irrigation,is not normally felt.

The area under cultivation with food crops, commercial crops, oil seeds and others is given in tables that follow:

Area under crops in Kanniyakumari district (in hectares)

Name of the Crop       1982-83           1983-84

Paddy                          46025              39619

Cholam :                      19                    34

Redgram :                   21                    35

Blackgram                   947                  576

Greengram                  72                    64

Horsegram                   46                    125

Other pulses :              58                    147

Chillies :                      20                    22

Other condiments and spices :            3386    3535

Total sugar crops :       3077                3045

Mangoes :                    1749                1721

Bananas :                     2215                2205

Other fruits and Vegetables

including root crops :  15492  15449

Groundnut :                1357    922

Cocount                      16076  16775

Other oil seeds :          349      366



1984-85           1985-86           1986-87           1987-88

Paddy              46000              44000              29685              33073

Cholam            30                    5                      57                    6

Redgram                     —        12        —

Blackgram       2600                2900                1480                —

Greengram      —        —       3          —

Horsegram       —        —        357      —

Other pulses    —        —        125      —

Total pulses     5002                4500                2095                5432

Chillies            20                    21                    10                    15

Other condiments and spices  3535    3535    3535    3535

Total sugar crops         3045    3140                2800                2400

Mangoes                      1721    1721                1721                1721

Bananas                       2205    2350                2530                2685

Other fruits and Vegetables including root crops       15449  15449  15449  15449

Groundnut                  960      1056                822                  683

Coconut                      16775  17200              17200              17200

Other oil seeds            366      366      300                  350

Rubber                                    12800  12800              12800              12800

Director of Statistics, Madras, Report dated 21, December 1988.


It may be seen from the above statement, that about 35 per cent of the total area is held by marginal farmers with less than 0.50 ha. Who account for 78 per cent of the total cultivators. The percentage of cultivators with less than 2.00 ha is 98 who are cultivating 82 per cent of the total cultivated area. The average size of land held by a marginal farmer is about one sixth of a hectare or roughly 43 cents. 20 per cent of the cultivators are small farmers, who cultivate 48 per cent of the area and their average holding is less than a hectare. Tenancy cultivation and absentee landlordism are prevalent in this district. Farms over 3 hectares constitute less than a per cent of the total number of holdings. There is thereby vast scope for uplifting small and marginal farmers which will go a long way to improve their economic and social status. The Government have taken up their cause and helping them in all respects.

Horticulture: Horticulture is one of the main branches of agriculture. Originally, it meant specifically the cultivation of a garden. Plants such as flowers, vegetables, fruits and ornamentals that were grown in gardens which acquired the name “horticultural plants”. The present meaning of horticulture includes not only the growing of plants in gardens for pleasure or for profit, but the large scale production of vegetables, fruits, flowers and ornamentals in fields. It also includes many services which are ancillary to the production and marketing of the plants and crops.

Horticulture in Kanniyakumari district: Kanniyakumari district enjoys both tropical as well as subtropical climatic conditions obtaining in the eastern and southern coastal regions of the district and to some extent in the western coastal region also the land is more or less plain and enjoys tropical climate. Other parts of the district consist of western ghat mountains and yelas. The climatic condition obtaining in the hill area of this district is predominantly subtropical leading itself quite favourable for cultivation of scores of horticultural crops like subtropical and tropical fruit kinds, spices and plantation crops. In the yelas, paddy, banana, tuber crops and vegetables are mainly grown.

The total geographical area of the district is 1.67 lakhs hectares of which an extent of 0.8 lakh hectares is covered under cultivation of various crops as per the 1984-85 statistical data. Area under horticultural crops of all kinds in the district is 0.35 lakh ha. which accounts for 47.5 per cent of the total area cultivated.

Floriculture: Flowers such as jasmine, jathi malli, mullai, norium and chrysanthimum are mainly cultivated in Thovalai taluk. Flowers like crosandra and marikolundu are also grown in limited extent. The total area under flower cultivation is 185 ha. in the district. The flowers harvested here are purchased by the commission agents and a major part of them are sent to Trivandrum.

Horticultural schemes: There are twelve horticultural schemes implemented in this district, including maintenance of three horticultural farms. During 1985-86, a sum of Rs. 10.4 lakhs was spent in this district with a total realisation of Rs.10.5 lakhs as revenue. From 1986-87 horticultural activities in the district have been strengthened further with greater emphasis on increasing the area and production of subtropical fruits including banana and pineapple, spices and plantation crops.


  1. Government Fruit Farm, Kanniyakumari: The Farm situated in Kundal village near Kanniyakumari on the N.H. 47 road was established in the year 1922 by Sreemoolam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore on an area of 6.9.7 ha. Consequent on the State reorganisation in 1956, and merger of present Kanniyakumari district with Tamil Nadu, the maintenance of the farm has been entrusted to the State Agriculture department. In view of the special phenomenon of off-season bearing in mango, under the I.C.A.R. auspices, research was carried out from 1960 to 1969. In order to facilitate research activities, an additional area of 5.69 ha. of land was added to the farm in 1964 by purchasing the adjoining land from private land holders. Until 1969, the farm was maintained by the composite Agriculture department to serve as a model farm as well as a nursery centre for production of fruit plants of various kinds. In September 1979 the farm came under the newly formed department of Horticulture. The propagation activities had been stepped up year after year. This farm is the main source of supply of pedigree plants of different fruit kinds, for the centrally assisted western ghats scheme for the development of sub-tropical fruits and spices.

Though this farm is situated in an area of considerably low rainfall, through effective management the annual profit of the farm has increased from Rs. 0.20 lakh in 1981-82 to Rs. 3.07 lakhs in 1985-86. Annually, the farm produces and distributes 1.25 lakhs of plants including 60,000 mango grafts.

  1. Pineapple Nursery – Pechiparai: This farm was started in 1975 in Pechiparai village in an area of 9.8 ha. of forest land (taken on long lease, and is situated adjoining the irrigation channel of Pechiparai dam. Except roads and pathways, the entire area is covered with pineapple crop. The main object is to produce suckers of “Kews” variety of Pineapple.


Nature, variety and suitability for cultivation of various crops 14: The soils of Kanniyakumari district are broadly classified into two major groups namely red soil and alluvium soil.

The red soil is further classified into red loam soil and red sandy and the alluvium soil is classified into coastal alluvium and river alluvium. Red soils occupy the largest area in Kanniyakumari district.

The reconnaissance soil survey was conducted during 1984-85 by the Soil Survey and Land Use Organisation, Tirunelveli. The result of the survey has revealed the following soil families as per the classification by soil Taxonomy. The extent of soil with each category is noted against each:-

$1.No.| V Crop(2) Season(3) Yield
1 Mango July to December 20,000 kg/per ha.
2 Guava June to December 25,000 kg/per ha.
3 Lime - do - 25,500 kg./per ha.
4 Banana January, Februaryand November 50 tonnes/per ha.
5 Pepper July to December 1,500 kg/ha.
6 Cloves -do - 1600 kg/ha.
Application of fertiliser per tree
Crop(v Cattle manure N/kg. (2) (3) P/kg. K/kg. (4) (5)
Mango 50 1.0 1.0 1.5
Guava 50 1 1 1
Lime 30 0.6 0.2 0.5
Banana 10 0.110 0.35 0.330 gm/plant
Pepper 10 0.100 0.400 0.140 vin





Table -1

Area under horticultural crops in Kanniyakumari district

1984-8520 Area in hectares
Crop(V Agasthis Thovalai waram(2) (3) Kalkulam(4) Vilavan­code(5) Total(6)
Banana 241 274 1022 646 2183
Mango 418 100 577 618 1713
Jack 25 47 454 264 790
Guava 5 4 2 2 13
Lime 2 33 2 37
Pineapple 10 9 2 21
Other Fresh Fruits 2 2
Tapioca 64 434 3545 7359 11402
Other Vegetable Crops 3 15 47 77 142
Arecanut 5 192 424 180 801
Chillies 1 5 19 25
Turmeric 327  — 327
44 31 75
Cloves 244 323 19 586
Pepper 10 52 15 77
Ginger 6 21 27
Nutmeg 3 3
CashewCoffeeTea 1489 5220105 48721298 190 221841403


 (V (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Rubber - 1289 6731 5273 13293
Betelvine _ _ 6 25 31
Flowers 180 4 184
Table – IIArea under horticultural crops in Kanniyakumari district1985-8621
SI.No. Area in hectares
Crop Agastheswaram Thovalai Kalkulam Vilavanncode Total
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
1 Banana 256 262 1162 670 2350
2 Mango 241 102 615 615 1753
3 Jack 25 50 468 253 796
4 Guava 5 5 5 1 16
5 Lime 2 33 1 1 37
6 Pineapple 10 13 3 26
7 Orange 43 31 74
8 Tapioca 68 362 3423 7375 11,228
9 Sweet Potato _ ■ — 1 1
10 Yam 1 1 ■ — 2
11 Onion 4 4
12 Brinjal 4 5 4 52 65
13 Bhendi 1 4 4 28 37
14 Lab-Lab 3 2 2 7
15 Cabbage 3 3
16 Other Vegetables - 5 29 16 50
17 Greens 1 2 2 5
18 Arecanut 4 173 430 177 784
19 Cardamom 44 74 118


Predominant pests and diseases and control measures

Disease Pesticides Control Measures
Mango Hopper Phoselone 0.05%
Stemborer Calphos tablet/hole
Banana Wilt Bavistin 50 Mg.tablet
Guava Tea mosquito bug 0.1 % malathion
Citrus Nematode 750 g/tree carbofuran
Cloves Leaf spot Dithane M.45/2 gms/litre


Pineapple for distribution and expansion of area under this variety which is very well suited for industrial purpose. Annually, on an average, 1, 5 lakhs suckers are produced and distributed to the growers, through Hill Area Development Scheme.

Since the farm is maintained under rainfed conditions the sucker production is subject to the vagaries of the weather, so to say rainfall. The failure of monsoon from 1982 to1986 curtailed the production of suckers. During the financial year 1985-86, the expenditure was Rs. 0.96 lakh, while the revenue was Rs. 0.83 lakh only. It has been proposed to improve irrigation facilities and also to produce and distribute 1.0 lakh suckers annually. Pineapple fruits produced in this farm are sold to the Kanniyakumari Fruit Co-operative (KANYAFCO) Marthandam for canning. To step up the revenue of the farm, black pepper vines have been trained over the forest trees.

Pepper nursery, Valiya Yela, Pechiparai: Pepper nursery, which was established in 1967 was made permanent in 1981. The total area of the farm is 6 hectares and it is situated on the road from Pechiparai to Kothayaar dam near’o’point. The farm is situated in the forest land. An area of 5.6 hectares is under pepper, clove and nutmeg cultivation apart from the nursery. There is an open well for irrigation.

The farm produces annually two lakhs pepper plants of the variety “Kuttanadan,” for distribution to growers of this district and in other parts of Tamil Nadu through Hill Area Development Schemes. In the same farm, scheme for hybrid pepper development (Panniyur-l) is also implemented on an area of 3 hectares through which annually 1.0 lakh rooted cuttings of Panniyur-1 pepper and 10,000 clove seedlings are produced for distribution to growers.


The various permanent plan and non-plan schemes implemented in the district are given below

(i) Permanent schemes:

Government fruit farm, KanniyakumariPepper nursery, Pechiparai

(3) Arecanut development scheme (located in Govt, fruit farm, Kanniyakumari)

Plan schemes:

Development of subtropical fruits and spices in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts under Western Ghat Development Programme with central and state assistance.

Development of “KEW” variety pineapple (state plan)

Development of hybrid pepper (state plan)

Distribution of hybrid vegetable seeds (state plan)

Banana development scheme (state plan)

Cashew development scheme (central plan)

Distribution of pulses and vegetable minikits (central plan)

Non plan scheme:

Pineapple development scheme (state plari)

Sericulture: Sericulture was first introduced in Kanniyakumari district during 1978-79 as an experimental measure and it continues to function successfully.

Sericulture extension centre: A Sericulture extension centre was established at Nagercoil during 1980-81. The centre is engaged in supplying layings to the farmers and it also provides technical guidance to the sericuftunsts. During 1983-84, fifty farmers were imparted training for 3 months and a monthly stipend of Rs.100/- was given to them. Besides, tools and implements worth Rs. 400/- were given for chawkie rearing. Yearwise details of the farmers trained from 1979-80 to 1983-94 are given below:

Year    Target  (ha.) Achievement (ha.) No. of S. C.benefited

1979-80 20.00 24.00
1980-81 60.00 68.80 55
1981-82 30.00 39.20 74
1982-83 60.00 24.00 78
1983-84 20.00 20.00 91
1984-85 40.00 40.00 130

Community chawkie centres: Government established a Chawkie rearing centre at Anjukiramam on 5 August 1982. During 1982-83, 872 dfls were reared and distributed to the 61 sericulturists. During 1984-85, 3836 dfls were reared and distributed to 91 farmers.

Government Cocoon Market: The Government set up a cocoon market at Nagercoil and is functioning from 25 May 1980. Prior to this, Cocoons were taken to Government cocoon market Tenkasi in Tirunelveii Kattabomman district for sale.

The total area under mulberry cultivation in 1965-86 was 64.00 acres. This had come down to 47.25 acres in 1986-87.

The talukwlse particulars regarding the mulberry expansion for the years 1985-86 and 1986-87 are as follows24

Area (in acres)

Taluk 1985 66 1966-67
1. Thovalai 14 50 1040
2. Agasthiswaram 19 50 15.60
3. Kalkulam 1550 10.00
4. Vilavancode 14 50 11 25
Total 64 00 4725


Talukwar statements showing the quantity of cocoons produced from 1980-81 to 1986-87 are as follows

Cocoon production (In kgs.)


Year(V Thovalai(2) Agasthis­waram(3) Kalkulam(4) Vilavancode(5) Total(6)
1980-81 350.500 460.000 190.500 119.350 1120.350
1981-82 270.000 360.000 150.500 178.900 959.400
1982-83 370.500 480.000 200.500 129.300 1180.300
1983-84 600.000 700.000 450.000 415.800 2165.800
1984-85 1060.000 1500.500 560.000 451.000 3571.500
1985-86 1500.000 2080.000 1020.300 917.400 5517.700
1986-87 960.100 1500.000 250.300 300.400 3010.800


Reeling unit:    The Government have set up a reeling unitNagercoil in December 1980 with capacity of 6 basins.

Fiemonstration-cum-training centre: The Government established a Demonstration-cum-training centre at Konam near Nagercoil. The centre imparts training to new entrepreneurs in the field of sericulture.

Sericulture by Tribals: Hill tribes namely Kanis of Arugani in Vilavancode taluk have also taken up sericultural work. About ten Kani families were engaged in this work during 1983-84 and a sum of Rs. 50,000/- was sanctioned to them as loan, for buying appliances and for the construction of silkworm rearing sheds.

Cropping pattern: The following is the crop pattern in the district. This district produces paddy, tapioca, pulses and oil seeds such as groundnut, gingelly and coconut besides commerical crops such as cashew, rubber, fruits (mango, jack, pineapple) and spices (pepper, cloves and nutmeg). Another important feature of this district is the production of off season mangoes, especially in and around Kanniyakumari.

Paddy: Paddy is the main food crop of this district. It is raised in two seasons. First crop is sown in the months of April- May and second crop is raised in the months of September-October.

Tapioca is raised as a subsidiary food crop in this district. The main planting season is April-May. In some pockets planting is also done in September-October as second season crop. It is purely raised as rainfed crop in this district, commensurate with the setting up of monsoon.

Coconut is an important cash crop in this district. The main planting season is May to July. Pulses are raised purely in rice-fallows and as mixed crop in tapioca. The important pulses are blackgram, greengram, horsegram, cowpea and redgram. In the months of April, May & September – October pulses are raised as mixture with tapioca. In the months February- May, pulses are exclusively raised in rice fallows.

Vegetables are cultivated during January – February and July and August. Pot watering is the local practice. Vegetables are also raised as 3rd crop, after the harvest of 2nd crop of paddy in some pockets of this district, which is seldom done in other districts.


Banana is cultivated mainly from March to May and September-October Groundnut is raised during March-April and October-November as a rainfed crop. In addition, pepper, cloves, arecanut, betelvine, cocoa, gingelly, ginger, turmeric, arrowroot etc., are also grown in this district, in small areas.

Crop sequence followed in Kanniyakumari district

Paddy-paddy-fallow   (One year rotation)

Paddy-paddy-pulses   (One year rotation)

Paddy-banana-paddy  (two years rotation)

Paddy-banana-tapioca            (two years rotation)


Cultivation practices of Paddy: Rice is the main food crop of the district. It is raised in two successive seasons. First crop is sown in the month of April-May which is known as Kannipoo (Kar season) and the second crop is raised in the months of September- October which is known as Kumbapoo (Pishanam season).In sizeable area the first crop of rice is raised under semi-dry conditions mostly in Nanjil Nadu comprising of Agasthiswaram and Thovalai taluks. During the second crop season, the entire area is taken up for transplantation. In Kanniyakumari, three different systems of cultivation are in vogue viz. (i) semi-dry cultivation (ii) wet direct sown cultivation and (iii) wet transplanted cultivation.

Semi-dry cultivation: This system of cultivation is mainly followed in Agasthiswaram, Thovalai and parts of Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks. When there are summer showers in the months of April-May, the seeds are sown broadcast at the rate of 100 kgs./ha. Covered by ploughing and compacted. Levelling and compaction are repeated on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th day of sowing. For about a month, the crop grows with the available soil moisture and then the field is flooded with the receipt of water in the channel in the month of June. In semi-dry condition high yielding rice varieties viz. TKN.9. ADT.36 and TPS.1 are cultivated.

Besides, the local varieties kattisamba and kuruvai which have duration of 105 to 115 days are also cultivated in a smaller extent.

Wet direct sown cultivation: This method of cultivation is followed in places where plenty of water is available during the months of May-June. Short term high yielding varieties like TKM.9, ADT.36 and TPS. 1, are cultivated. Local varieties like kattisamba and kuruvai are cultivated in smaller extent. Sprouted seeds are broadcast in the puddled soils at the rate of 75 kgs./ha.

(HI) Wet Transplanted Cultivation: This system is practised in channel – fed areas of Agasthiswaram, Thovalai taluks and also in major areas in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks during the first season, but during the second season this method is adopted in the entire Kanniyakumari district. During the first season, TKM. 9, ADT.36, TPS. 1 is the predomi­nant varieties while in the second season, IR.20, Ponni, white ponni, AU.2 TPS. 2 and CD. 1009 are the high yielding strains cultivated in the district. Besides, these, local varieties like Valsiraimundan, Thattathavellai, Vallarakkan and Kochisamba are also cultivated. Ponni, a medium duration variety is generally recommended for second season. But in Kalkulam and Vilavancod taluks, it is cultivated mostly during the first season (kannipoo season).

Tapioca: Tapioca is cultivated in the district purely on rainfed condition. It is cultivated in 12,000 ha. on receipt of summer showers in the month of April-May and in September-October. Tapioca setts are planted in the centre of the heap formed by soil in the fields at a distance of 2 to 3 feet. Most of the tapioca areas come under Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, where terraced type of cultivation is practised. The duration of the crop is 10 months. First season commences, in the month of May-June and the other season for planting tapioca is September-October. About 70 per cent of the area is planted in the first season while the remaining areas are cropped in the second season i.e. September-October. The average yield of tapioca is 12 tonnes/ha. The HYVs such as Srivisagam and M4.have the yield potentiality of 25 to 30 tonnes/ha. After the harvest, the tubers are sold for consumption, purposes. Chips are also made, after cutting the tubes into small ones and dried in the open sun shine and these chips are used in flour mills, for making various products.

Pulses: Pulses are raised purely on rainfed conditions. They are raised in three seasons here. In the month of April-May, pulses are raisedas intercrop with tapioca. In second crop, tapioca pulses are raised in the month of September-October. as intercrop. Normally, blackgram and greengram are sown as first crop in the month of April-May and horsegram and blackgram are sown in the second season in the month of September-October as intercrop. Pulses are also raised in rice fallows, soon after the harvest of second crop paddy.

Particulars showing area covered under paddy cultivation and area in which high yielding varieties are raised are furnished in table 1. The details of normal area and productivity of different crops are given in table 2 and the details of cost of cultivation of different crops are given in table 3.


Year(1) Area under paddy both crops (in ha.) (2) High yielding varieties (in hectares)(3)
1975-76 53034 33512
1976-77 44580 32458
1977-78 49245 31226
1978-79 46209 31844
1979-80 49671 31541
1980-81 43695 39296
1981-82 48091 29030
1982-83 46212 30343
1983-84 38526 29944
1984-85 46227 24658
1985-86 44189 30787
1986-87 29685 21400
1987-88 33077 30800

Director of Agriculture, Madras – Report dt. 23 September 1986 and Jo Director of Agriculture, Nagercoil, dt.28 November 1988.



Normal area and productivity of different crops

St.No(V Crop(2) Area (in hacs.) (3) Normal yield in kgs./hacs.(4)
1. Paddy 46000 (23000 + 23000) both crops 2569.5 kg. of rice.
2.. Tapioca 12000 10000 kg.
3. Coconut 15200 10000 nuts/ha.
4. Groundnut 1000 750 kg.
5. Banana 3006 25000 kg/ha.
6. Cashew 2153 2.000 M. Tonnes
7. Arecanut 757 5.0 lakh nuts
8. Mango 1769 20.000 m.tonnes
9. Pepper 42 250 kg./ha.
10. Pulses 5000 280 kg/ha.
11. Rubber 12800 1200 kg/ha


Report on “Agriculture in Kanniyakumari, Joint Director of Agriculture, Nagercoil,


Joint Director of Agriculture, Nagercoil – Report dt. 28 November 1988


Cost of cultivation of Different crops in Kanniyakumari district29

Name of the Crop(V Total cost of cultivation/Ac (2) GrossIncome(3) NetIncomeW
Paddy (HYV) 1838.00 2757.00 919.00
Paddy (local) 1450.00 2120.00 670.00
Tapioca (rainfed) 1640.00 2660.00 1020.00
Coconut (rainfed) 2625.00 or 5075.00 2450.00
6562.00 per ha.
Banana (Nendran) eathanvazhai 6120.00 9600.00 3480.00


Banana (poovan, monthan and other local varieties

Groundnut (rainfed)

Rubber (maintenance)

Pulses (rainfed)-

Cashewnut (rainfed)

Vegetables (brinjal)


Flowers (jasmine)

3120.00 6400.00 3280.00
1035.00 1500.00 465.00
2250.00 7200.00 4950.00
316.50 800.00 438.50
940.00 2800.00 1860.00
1825.00 5250.00 3425.00
11920.00 20000.00 8080.00
6175.00 16800.00 10625.00



Agricultural Extension Centres30 : There are 19 Agricultural extension centres in Kanniyakumari district. They are functioning at the following places

1. Nagercoil 2. Boothapandi
3. Perumalpuram 4. Pazhavilai
5. Kurunthencode 6. Kozhiporevilai
7. Thiruvattar 8. Melpuram
9. Killiyoor 10. Munchirai
11. Sahayanagar 12. Parakkai
13. Thuckalay 14. Kumarapuram
15. Thoduvetti 16. Karungal
17. Anjugraman 18. Monday Market
19. Suchindrum at Vazhukkamparai


Each Agricultural extension centre is manned by an Agricultural Officer. The extension centres play an important role in providing technical guidance to the farmers. Farmers are also able to get inputs like seeds of high yielding varieties, pesticides and bio-fertilizers like Azospirillim, Azolla etc. Thus, the agricultural extension centres function for the betterment of the farming community.

Training and Visit System31: With the assistance of World Bank, the Training and Visit System of extension was introduced in Kanniyakumari district in September 1982. This is a reorganised extension system laying emphasis for the frequent contact between theextension personnel and farmers for the transfer of technology. This system also helps to identify the problems encountered by the farmers and paves way to find out suitable solutions. Under this system, for every 800 to 1000 farm families, one Assistant Agricultural Officer is working to render necessary technical guidance. The Assistant Agricultural Officer has to make visits on scheduled dates, every fortnight.

Before the implementation of the Training and Visit System in the district, some places located in remote areas were not covered by the extension staff, since there were no such scheduled visits on the specified dates. Now, the system has been implemented in all the villages of the district.

Rubber Plantations:     The      area      covered by rubber plantation andthe number of the rubber growing units in Kanniyakumari district at the end of 1978-79 as follows

  1. No. Place

(V (2)

No. of units(3) Area in hectares (4)
1 Thovalai 59 1038
2 Kalkulam 2161 5338
3 Vilavancode 1468 4931
4 Total in Kanniya­kumari district 3668 11307
5 Total in Tamilnadu 3720 11984
6 Total in India 156138 249190


Resultantly, as against 11307 hectares covered under rubber plantation in 1978-79, it rose to 12688 hectares in the year 1980. In 1986, the area under rubber plantations has further risen up to 13168 hectares in all, (both Government as well as private), which constitutes about 97 per cent of the total area covered under rubber plantations in the State of Tamil Nadu. In these plantations, about 50,000 people are employed.

The Rubber Board which is under the control of the Government of India is having a Regional Office at Nagercoil and a rubber nursery near kuzhithurai.

Necessary extension and advisory services are rendered through the Regional office for the benefit of rubber growers in Kanniyakumari district, With the object of increasing production and productivity of rubber and on the other hand to uplift their economic condition. The Board implemented “Rubber Plantation Development Scheme” with a view to encourage new planting/replanting during the five year period from 1980-81 to 1984-85. The scheme has provided for grant of material, finanical and technical assistance from the Board and also long term loans from banks under the credit scheme of Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation to the rubber growers.

The assistance under the scheme includes cash subsidy from the Rubber Board, input subsidies for small holders, long term financial credit from banks, interest subsidy of bank loan and free technical support.

Rubber Board is also implementing a scheme for promotion of irrigation. The scheme provides for financial assistance at the rate of Rs.2,500/- per hectare with ceiling of Rs. 7,500/- per individual for33promotion of irrigation in the traditional rubber growing areas.

Financial outlay for implementing in the traditional rubber growing area is Rs.10 lakhs.

Cashewnut Cultivation:34 Area under Cashew cultivation in Kanniyakumari district is as follows:-

Taluk   Area    in hectares

Agasthiswaram           –           1632

Thovalai                      –           5

Kalkulam                     –           474

Vilavancode                –           181

Total                            –           2302

Coffee and Tea Plantations: The area covered under coffee and tea Plantations in Kanniyakumari district is 42 hectares and 403 hectares respectively. The plantations are mostly in Thovalai and Kalkulam taluks. The total area covered under coffee and tea plantations, in the State of Tamil Nadu is 33319 hectares, and 40794 hectares respectively. When compared to the total extent covered by the coffee and tea plantations in the State, the area in Kanniyakumari district is quite nominal.

Progress of Scientific Agriculture:      Agriculture in  India isundergoing transformation. Traditional technology is slowly giving way to modern technology. The new strategy comprises the introduction of new and high yielding varieties of seed materials increased application of the recommended doses of fertilizers and extension of the use of pesticides. This technological breakthrough has brought about spectacular changes in agricultural production.

Agricultural Implements-Old types: The implements which are in common use all over India are a few and simple. The mould board ploughs bakhan or blade harrow, wooden seed drill, cultivators, harrows, sickle etc., constitute the average farmers’ agricultural implements.

In paddy growing areas a large number of bullocks are maintained by farmers to finish quickly the puddling of field, so that transplantation of seedlings is finished, in time.

The use of machines for cultivating, harvesting, threshing etc., has made vast strides in recent years. The use of machine is to substitute human effort and to increase its productive efforts.

Terrain and Agricultural Operations in the district: The terrain is flat in Agasthiswaram and a portion of Thovalai taluks and the soil is more suited for raising tapioca and other fruit bearing trees like mango, jack etc. As more trace are standing in dry lands, modern equipments such as tractors etc. are not used for dry cultivation, particularly, in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks. Even ploughing by bullocks are not used for cultivation of dry lands. Instead, the land is reclaimed and brought fit for dry cultivation by manual labour only. The modern equipments and ploughing by bullocks are mainly used for wet cultivation in Agathiswaram and Thovalai taluks. The use of tractor in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks for wet cultivation is also gaining momentum, in the recent past.

Modern Implements: When mechanical power was first used in the field of agriculture, a stationary steam engine with a cable arrangement for hauling was adopted. This, however, proved to be of limited utility, for different operations. Neverthless, the advent of the internal combustion engine completely revolutionized the scope of agricultural planning, opening a vast field of possibilities and paving way for the introduction of machines and implements over the entire range ofagricultural operations which had been done from the earliest times by manual labour. Some of the agricultural machines and implements popularly in use today are described below.

Tractors: Tractors are used to bring more lands under cultivation by reclamation of uncultivated wastes, levelling of undulating areas and clearance of jungles. They are used also for intensifying cultivation by deep ploughing, harrowing, bunding and terracing. By tractors extensive and intensive cultivation is achieved on a large scale. Ploughing and harrowing operations, puddling and trampling of green manures are performed with utmost efficiency and speed with tractors. The operations of bulldozers cover reclamation work involving levelling, bunding, reclamation of new lands, realigning eroded fields, filling up of gullies, clearing of sand cast areas in flood-affected regions, excavation of tanks and silt clearance in tanks and spring channels.

Details of agricultural implements older types and modern implements used in the district are as follows: –

Hand operated implements

Rural Urban Total
1. Seed/fertilizer drill 27 27
2. Seed drill 18 18
3. Chaff cutter 505 5 510
4. Sprayer 248 33 281
5. Duster 8 8


Chief Engineer (Agricultural Engineering) Madras, Report dated 11 August 1986.

Kanniyakumari Agro Engineering and Service Cooperative Society Limited:

The Kanniyakumari Agro Engineering and Service Co-operative Society were formed in 1981 by amalgamating the Agasthiswaram Agro Service Centre and Thovalai Agro Service Centre. The area of operation of the society is confined to the revenue villages of Kanniyakumari district. (It is an affiliated Society of the Tamil Nadu Agro Engineering & Service Cooperative Federation Ltd.) The Society has 355 members with a paid up share capital of Rs. 17,330/- with a share value of Rs. 10/- each.

Objectives of the Society are as follows:-

To service and repair agricultural machineries like tractors, pumpsets, electrical equipments, oil engine pumpsets, drills, bull-dozers etc.;

To hire tractors and other agricultural machinery required by the members;

To manufacture, acquire, sell or to serve as agents for the acquisition of any agricultural machinery or equipment in favour of the society;

To offer technical services relating to agriculture including soil testing etc;

To carry out any work relating to irrigation, development of land, water management, etc. andTo serve as stockists and sell petrol, diesel, lubricants etc.

Seed Certification in Kanniyakumari district: The department of Seed Certification is headed by the Director of Seed Certification Coimbatore who is having jurisdiction all over the State. Under his administration and disciplinary control, one Seed Certification Officer is working in Nagercoil who is in charge of the entire Kanniyakumari district. He is under the supervisory control of the Asst. Director of Seed Certification, Tirunelveli. The Government are the sole seed producing agency in the district and there are no private seed producers. There are two seed producing centres manned by an Asst. Director of Agriculture with qualified complementary field staff.

Paddy and pulses seeds are produced in these seed centres. Among paddy TKM9, ponni, IR 20 and savithri are the strains. While, pulses T9, ADT-2, blackgram are the major varieties produced. Apart from these two seed centres, there is one state seed farm is situated at Thirupathisaram which mainly produces foundation seeds. This seed farm is under the control of an Agricultural officer (Farm management).

Seed Processing Unit: A seed processing unit is functioning in the state seed farm, Thirupathisaram. The Director of Seed Certification having recognised this processing unit has assigned unit No.40. Hitherto the processing operation was carried on with a small qualitex machine and now a high capacity machine has been installed. The seed farm ryots are the clients for producing the seeds in various places of the district.

The details of the area registered under certification from 1981-62 to 1987-88 under paddy and pulses are given below in table -1.Particulars of quantity of seeds processed and seeds certified unde paddy and pulses from 1981-32 to 1987-88 are furnished in tables II am Ml respectively

The details of seed samples tested from 1983-84 to 1988-69 art given in table (V)


Area registered under certification in ha. from 1081-62

Si Crop No.(V (2) 1981-82(3) 82-83(4) 83-64(5) 84-85m 85-86 (7) $ 88-87(8) 87-88(9)
1 Paddy 41.78 94.48 79.62 144 73 104 45 68.57 61 20
2 Pulses 3.98 35.64 8 56 58 00 61 80 21.19 17.60
Total 45.76 130.12 88.18 203.53 16625 89.76 78 00



  1. b) Quantity of seeds processed in metric tonnes

S/No.   Crop    1981-82           82-83   83-84   84-85   85-86   86-87   87-88

(1)        (2)        (3)        (4)        (5)        (6)        (7)        (8)        (9)

Paddy  120 900           200 738           182.322           301 757 205.369         189.839 118.816

Pulses  0.984   2 318   1.635   1.105   3.260   1.297   2.415


Quantity of seeds certified in metric tonnes39

SI.No.(V Crop(2) 1981-82(3) 82-83W 83-84(5) 84-85(6) 85-86(7) 86-87(8) 87-88(9)
1 Paddy 117.300 143.630 137.274 260.339 201.690 201.006 146,811
2 Pulses 0.984 1.635 1.105 2.525 1.292 1.276
Total 118.284 143.630 138.909 261.444 204.215 202.298 148.087


TABLE-IV Seeds Testing Laboratory

Number of seed samples tested (Kanniyakumari district)

Category         Service            sample Official            Sample                        Year

(1)        (2)        (3)

84        328      Not      available

85        300      137

86        165      337

87        79        302

88        18        443

89        1          128

(1)        (2)        (3)

84        328      Not      available

85        300      137

86        165      337

87        79        302

88        18        443

89        1          128

Particulars of average consumption of NPK/ha. are tabulated below :

(Consumption of NPK average per hectare)

Year(1) Nitrate(N)(2) Phosphate(P)(3) Potash(K)(4)
1974-75 32.5 15.0 10.0
1975-76 55.0 20.0 17.5
1976-77 51.8 22.50 12.5
1977-78 38.8 19.20 18.5
1978-79 36.8 13.4 14.7
1979-80 44.1 15.7 15.8
1980-81 42.9 14.7 14.7
1981-82 48.8 15.7 16.0
1982-83 65.10 21.0 18.6
1983-84 50.2 19.7 20.1


This table shows the quantity of fertilizers distributed to agriculturists in Kanniyakumari district from 1975-76 to 1985-86.44

Year(1) Nitrate (N) (2) Quantity (In M. Tonnes) Phosphate (P) Potash (K) (3) (4)
1975-76 5012.000 1680.000 1510.000
1976-77 3671.000 1580.000 1497.000
1977-78 3151.000 1560.000 1507.000
1978-79 2991.000 1091.000 1194.000
1979-80 3583.000 1277.000 1288.000
1980-81 3488.000 1201.000 1201.000
1981-82 3965.000 1276.000 1300.000
1982-83 5286.000 1708.000 1516.000
1983-84 4083.000 1802.000 1633.000


1. 2. 3. 4.
1984-85 4302.000 1802.000 1903.000
1985-86 4733.000 1757.000 2080.000


Agricultural diseases: Insects, plant diseases, and seeds differ in their adverse effect on crops, which result in reduced yield and impaired quality. The quality of the crop is impaired because of the fact that the grains got shrivelled. Discoloured fruits and vegetables get changed contaminants from the pests.

The quantum of plant protection chemicals distributed in the district from 1974-75 to 1983-84 is shown in the table below:

Year    Dust    form    Liquid form    (UTS.)(M. TONNES)

(1)                                            (2)                                            (3)

1974-75 52.0 8377.7
1975-76 107.9 8675.1
1976-77 43.8 2657.1
1977-78 48.68 3441.4
1978-79 68.22 2337.0
1979-80 74.5 2604.3
1980-81 150.6 2187.7
1981-82 206.8 2415.1
1982-83 142.163 2132.200
1983-84 538.644 8843.500


Normally occurrences of pest and diseases are very low in the first crop season, in the field, where paddy is cultivated in semi-dry as well as wet transplanted conditions. However, incidence of thrips, stemborer, and whole maggot are noticed in certain places of Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks even in the first crop season. Incidence of blast diseases is also noticed in Vilavancode taluk.

During the second crop season, heavy incidence, of stemborer and leaf folder are noticed in almost ail paddy growing areas. Incidence of blast, helminthosporium, and sheathrot are noticed mostly in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, where the agro-climatic conditions favours mostly the occurrence of the diseases.

With regard to control measures, pesticides such as parathion, endosulphan, ekalux are sprayed for the control of pests, and hinoson, and dithane are sprayed against fungal disease. The agricultural extension centres functioning throughout the district cater to the needs of the farmers by supplying the required plant protection chemicals.

Agricultural Centres:

The following are the agricultural centres in the district

1. State Seed Farm . — Thirupathisaram
2. Model Orchard Kanniyakumari
3. Pepper Nursery Pechipparai
4. Pine Apple Nursery Pechipparai
5. Paddy Experimental Research Station Thirupathisaram



The Agricultural Research Station at Thirupathisaram was started ir the year 1976 and it was under the control of the Director of Agriculture till 31 March 1981. On April 1, 1981, the Station was merged with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. The farm is located seven kilometre: away form Nagercoil towards east. The total area of the farm is 7.15 ha.

Soil: The soil type is clay loam. The pH of the soil varies from 7.5 t

The available nitrogen is low. The available phosphate and potas are medium.

Climate: The annual average rainfall is 745 mm. The maximui atmospheric temperature ranges from 25° to 30°. The relative humidil varies from 50 to 100 per cent.

During the second crop season, heavy incidence, of stemborer and Seat folder are noticed in almost all paddy growing areas. Incidence of blast, helminthosporium, and sheathrot are noticed mostly in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks, where the agro-climatic condition favours mostly the occurrence of the diseases.

With regard to control measures, pesticides such as parathion, endosulphan, ekalux are sprayed for the control of pests, and hinoson and dithane are sprayed against fungal disease. The agricultural extension centres functioning throughout the district cater to the needs of the farmers by supplying the required plant protection chemicals.

Agricultural Centres:

The following are the agricultural centres in the district

1. State Seed Farm Thirupathisaram
2. Model Orchard Kanniyakumari
3. Pepper Nursery Pechipparai
4. Pine Apple Nursery Pechipparai
5. Paddy Experimental Research Station Thirupathisaram




Short term duration:

Semi dry condition:- AS 25370 Percentage Duration Characters:- AS. 26556 Percentage Duration Characters:- Wet condition Percentage Duration charactersCrop management 1. Weed control In semi-dry rice Butachlor at 2 kg. ai/ha is applied on 8th day of sowing when sufficient soil moisture is available and it controls all germinating weeds.

Weed control in transplanted rice Butachlor at 1 Kg ai/ha is applied within 3 to 5 days after transplantation.

Seed rate and fertilizer for semi-dry rice A seed rate of 100 kg/ha. and a fertilizer dose of 75 N.45 P2O5 60 K2 kg./ha. was found optimum for rice TPS. 1.

Optimum plant population and fertilizers for transplanted rice:

A plant population of 50 plant per sq.m. by adopting a spacing of 20 Xcm and a fertilizer dose of 100 N 25 P2O5 50 K2O kg per ha. was found optimum for rice TPS. 2.

Split application of nitrogen for rice CR.1009 (Ponmani) splits at basal, tillering, panicle initiation and earhead emergence for rice CR.1009 (ponmani).

  1. Crop Protection-Nematology: Recommendations for prevention and control of white tip nematode disease in rice.

Burning of rice stubbles and crop residues in the field to destroy the inoculum present.Sun drying of seeds for 12 hours over two days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for seed disinfestation.If high humidity and wet condition prevails at tillering stage, prophylactic spraying with chlorpyriphos 20 ec at 1.25 1/ha. Ormonocrotophos 36 EC at 500 ml/ha. or quinalphos 25 EC at 1 1/ ha. Is done.

Cultivation of resistant varieties like TPS.1 and TPS.2

Pest Surveillance:        During the kumbapoo season  (pishanam)stemborer leaf roller earhead bug and brown plant hopper were recorded above economic threshold level in paddy. Damage due to rat was so noticed. Blast disease at Grade III to V was found to affect the paddy crop.

Coconut: Management of Thanjavur wilt disease. Epidemiological studies of Thanjavur wilt diseases indicated that there was an increase in the total number of bleeding patches every year, correspondingly the height of the bleeding patches also progressed upwards in the palm. The disease was moderate from August to November. Suitable control measures are adopted when the disease incidence is low.

When the palms are in the early stage of infection chemotherapy which is more effective is applied. Application of neem cake or in combination with fungicides like Carbendzin or carboxin is effective in containing the disease. This method is also adopted as and when there is necessity. Among the various methods of applications studied viz., soil drenching, stem injection and root feeding method appear to be promising.

Pattern of spread of root (wilt) disease: The studies on the pattern of spread of root (wilt) disease indicated that there was no regular pattern of spread of disease. It takes more than two years for the disease to reach the moderate stage, and five years to reach the advanced stage from the year of acquiring infection. The yield loss due to root (wilt) ranges from 57.3 per cent to 77.2 per cent

Research and Extension Linkages :    Linkageswith  extensionagencies are established through periodical meetings of T & V zonal workshops and Regional Advisory Committee, ‘Organisation of farmers’ day, and meeting farm advisory committee to solve the local field problems by conducting on-farm trials on manuring banana,, evaluation of rice cultures for blast, control of wilt diseases in coconut etc. and byperiodical visit of the extension functionaries and farmers to the resea station in order to study the on-going research.

Visitors to the research stations: 1. Members of the World Bank team visited the agricultural research station to review the work of National Agricultural Research Project, as per the report of the Associate Professor and Head of Agricultural Research Station, dated 20 April1988.

Some scientists from Vietnam visited the station to study the incidence of blast disease in rice in 1988.

State Seed Farm – Thirupathisaram: This is mainly functioning to have a large supply of quality foundation and certified seeds multiplied departmentally under the direct control and management of the technical staff and the same are distributed through Block level for mass multiplication by private seed farm ryots. This is one of the important planned schemes under the Five Year plan eligible for Central grant.

The State Seed Farm, Thirupathisaram is one of the eldest state seed farms in the entire Tamil Nadu. It was started in the year 1914 by the erstwhile Travancore State and was handed over to Tamil Nadu Government when Kanniyakumari district was attached to Tamil Nadu in the year 1956.


Total area of farm       :           59.6     acre.

Wet land                     :           50.42 acre.

Roads, buildings and threshing 8.91  acrefloor for agricultural school          0.30 acre.


1. Cost of land Rs. 353000
2. Cost of trees, wells Rs. 28000
3. Cost of building Rs. 165000
4. Others Rs. 35000


Agricultural Officer  1
Asst. Agricultural Officer 1
Field Demonstration Officer 2
Watchmen 2


ACHIEVEMENT-Area cultivated and production details for 10 years


Year(1) Area cultivated (Ac) (2) seed production(M. TONNES) (3)
1980-81 104.79 106 310
1981-82 104.83 118.130
1982-83 104.87 128.120
1983-84 104.08 100.227
1984-85 100.80 109.776
1985-86 99.79 128.158
1986-87 60.67 85.075
1987-88 60.11 80.128



Cropping efficiency-
Year (1) Area cultivated Total Cropping efficiencymanure (5) (6)
Paddy(2) Pulses(3) Green(4)
1981 -82 104.83 22.41 127.24 239%
1982-83 104.87 25.76 130.63 245%
1983-84 105.78 43.84 149.62 283%
1984-85 100.84 39.75 140.59 278%
1985-86 98.79 12.86 14.69 126.34 255%
1986-87 60.67 60.67 120%
1987-88 60.11 60.11 119%



This farm is in the forefront in testing new paddy varieties and suggests whether a particular variety is suitable for the tract. Important adaptive research trials, fertilizer trials, weedicide trials are also laid out in the farm and the yield results of these trials are analysed with the district trial results.

This state seed farm is entrusted with the work of Seed Processing of the produce of the seed farm ryots in addition to the processing of its own paddy seeds. About 350 MT. of paddy seeds are processed in a year in the farm.

Soil Testing Laboratory, Nagercoil: The Soil Testing Laboratory, Nagercoil commenced its multifarious activities from 15 June 1973. The scheme was originally sanctioned in G.O. Ms. No. 1328, Agriculture, dated 29 May 1973 and it is being continued every year. The scheme is now being operated under the head of one Assistant Soil Chemist.

Objective of the scheme:

To analyse soil samples collected from farmers’ holdings and give suitable fertilizer recommendations for various crops to get maximum yield with minimum input;

To analyse irrigation water samples collected from farmers’ holdings and to find out their suitability or otherwise for irrigation purposes and to suggest suitable recommendations for raising various crops;

To extend suitable reclamatory measures for problem soils like acidic, alkaline and saline in nature;

To conduct soil test crop response correlation and manurial trials to fix specified fertiliser recommendations; and

To popularise the soil testing service among the farming community and make them realise its usefulness.

Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory-Year wise achievement of analyst of samples

Year Target Achievement
1980-81 6000 2614
1981-82 6000 4556
1982-83 11200 8746
1983-84 10800 11183′
1984-85 18000 18038
1985-86 18000 18151
1986-87 18000 15375
1987-88 18000 18362


Research Activities:    Besides analysing the  soil samples, thelaboratory extends its wing to research also by taking up research trials from 1974-75 onwards on various crops like, paddy, coconut, tapioca. The research trials were conducted to evolve suitable fertilizer as well as ameliorative recommendations to farmers for various constraints faced by the farmers.

Research trials were also being taken up every year taking into consideration of the various field problems, soil constraints, to study and evolve suitable ameliorative measures to overcome the problems and constraints. In toto this laboratory ever since its inception, in addition to the routine activities of analysing soil samples, has undertaken about 53 research trials on community of Kanniyakumari district.

Follow up studies:Soil test follow up studies were alsoundertaken by the laboratory. Various farmers from various villages covering all the taluks of Kanniyakumari district were contacted and soil samples collected from their fields were analysed and manurial recommendations were given based on the soil fertility status of their fields for adoption. The follow up studies reveal that generally the percentage of adoption is encouraging. The main objective of the study is to involve farmers in the soil test activities, and to apprise them of the usefulness of soil testing.

Reclamation of acid and alkali soils: Out of 60,000 acres of rice cultivation in Kanniyakumari district from the samples received and tested by the laboratory, about 10,000 acres of land are acidic in reaction. Based on the analytical results, it was identified that majority of the lands in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks and the villages of Chiramadam, Veeranarayanamangalam. Thittivilai and Therisanamcope of Agastiswaram taluk fall under acidic condition. The average requirement of lime required to get increased yield of Rice is about 200 kgs/acre (Total of 5 continuous crops) @ 400 kgs/crop/acre. The approximate cost of lime is Rs.600/- per tonne. Based on these findings from the data collected for the research trials conducted by the laboratory, suitable recommendations are given for ameliorating the acid soils of Kanniyakumari district.

Saline Alkali soils: As far saline soils are concerned, the area under the above said soil is negligible. But alkali soils are found in small pockets of Shenbagaramanpudur of Thovalai taluk and Agastiswaram taluk. The samples received from such places are analysed and based on the analysed data, suitable quantity of gypsum is being recommended as ameliorative.

Special Work: The laboratory with the assistance of soil survey and land use organisation of Palayamkottai, prepared a soil brochure and soil atlas of Kanniyakumari district. The soil atlas contains valuable information of the soil fertility status of Kanniyakumari district. It serves as a base for scientists for knowing the soil fertility status of Kanniyakumari district.47

Water samples: Besides, water samples are also analysed and the quality of water is also suggested.

Oilseeds: In Kanniyakumari district, the coconut and groundnut are the major cultivated oilseed crops. To some extent, gingelly is grown in rice fallows. To augment the production of oilseeds various schemes are implemented by Department of Oilseeds. The Kanniyakumari district is a unit of the Tirunelveli Oilseeds Region, which is headed by a Regional Deputy Director of Agriculture (Oilseeds) stationed at Tirunelveli,

In Kanniyakumari district, the Assistant Director of Agriculture (Oilseeds), Nagercoil is implementing the various schemes of the oilseeds department.

Schemes under Implementation:

1. Increasing the production of oilseeds.
2. Increasing the production of coconut in Kanniyakumari district.
3. Crash Programme for coconut development.
4. Comprehensive coconut development scheme.
5. Scheme for the control of black headed caterpillar in coconut.
6. Eradication of Kerala root wilt in Kanniyakumari district.
7 Eradication of Thanjavur wilt scheme.
8. Scheme for the control of rhinocerous beetle.
9. Schemes financed by the Coconut Development Board.


The object of this scheme and the various concessions extended to the farmers are narrated below.

Increasing the production of oilseeds: The object of thescheme is to increase the production of oil seeds like groundnut, sunflower and gingelly. The farmers are supplied with good quality seeds through the Agricultural Extension Centres. The good quality seeds are produced in the farmers holdings, by organising seed farms and procuring the quality seeds from the farmers, after sample test and scrutiny,

The farmers are educated for the adoption of improved package of practices. To help the farmers, the method demonstrations are conducted. In order to encourage the farmers, the inputs like seeds, fertilizers and plant protection chemicals are supplied, for conducting minikit demonstrations.

Integrated and comprehensive scheme: The object of the scheme is to increase the yield of coconut on an average of 5 nuts per tree over and above the base year, i.e. 1978. The farmers are educated to apply the recommended doses of fertilisers and to follow the plant protection measures recommended.

Intensive Coconut Development Scheme: The farmers are recommended to adopt the recommended package of practices like raising green manure, applying chemical fertilisers and following the recommended plant protection measures.

Biological control of Black Caterpillar: The control of black headed caterpillar with the available chemicals is not so good as the biological control measures. For the biological control the parasites namely ‘bethalids’, ‘broconids’ and are produced at the Parasite Breeding Station, Nagercoil and released in the coconut gardens which are affected by the pest i.e. the black headed caterpillar. For the release of parasites, Rs. 25/- per hectare is collected as service charges.

Eradication of Kerala Root wilt in Kanniyakumari District: The coconut is affected by a disease called “Kerala root wilt disease”. In order to control the spread of the disease, the affected coconut palms are duly identified and destroyed. The farmers are granted a sum of Rs.75/- per tree for the removal of affected trees.

The T x D hybrid coconut seedlings are supplied at a subsidised rate. The fertilizers worth Rs.2 per tree are also supplied to them free of cost.

Eradication of Thanjavur Wilt: With a view to guard the coconut trees which are affected by Thanjavur wilt, copper sulphate is supplied at 50 per cent cost to the farmers, through the Agricultural Extension Centres.

Biological control of Rhinocerous beetle:

The rhinocerous beetle is one of the serious and important pests which affect the coconut. It has a wide distribution and persistent occurrence in all coconut growing areas in India. The adult beetles because severe damage to coconut palms by feeding on tender fronds and crown, resulting in the stunting of trees. The damage to spathe, results in loss of nuts. Young seedlings are sometimes killed outright since the insect breeds in the farmyard manure and fallen coconut trees, the control measures are undertaken at the breeding sites as well as on the trees. The control measures adopted against grubs and adults in coconut groves are costly, tedious and have to be repeated. Hence, an easy alternate method, utilising a safe and specific fungus namely, metarhizium anisopliac for the control of rhinocerous beetle is implemented in Kanniyakumari district. The fungus is supplied free of cost to the farmers.

Schemes financed by the Coconut Develoment Board:

The Coconut Develoment Board, Government of India, is assisting the coconut groves. A subsidy of Rs.3000/- per ha. is granted to the farmers who bring new area under coconut plantation. Similarty, in order to overcome the drought, irrigation subsidy of Rs.1000/- is granted for the purchase of oil engine and electric motor.

Special Programme for Coconut Development in drought affected areas:

Under this scheme, sprinkler drip units are supplied at subsidised cost. The pattern of subsidy is Rs.1300/- per unit of 0.5 ha., subject to a maximum of Rs.10,000/- per farmer.Under Government of India assisted scheme, drip/sprinkler units are to be supplied at subsidised rate. The rate of subsidy to the small farmer ranges from Rs.1500/- to Rs. 3375/-. For marginal farmers, the minimum rate of subsidy is Rs.2000/- and the maximum is Rs.4500/-. For SC and ST farmers, the minimum rate of susbidy is Rs.3000/- and the maximum is Rs.6750/-

Community System (50 per cent of the cost):

A target of 10 units has been allotted to Kanniyakumari district, with a financial target of Rs.50,000/- for the year 1988-89

Area of oilseeds                      :           84

Area of Coconut                     :           17258  ha.

Normal area of groundnut      :           1000    ha.

During 1987-88 an extent of 683 ha. Have been cultivated with groundnut.

Tall x Dwarf Scheme (T x D Scheme):

This scheme has been sanctioned by Agriculture department on 15 March 1980 and the scheme is functioning with effect from 9 September 1980. Under the control of one Assistant Director of Agriculture, the field Staff of this scheme were given training about crossing techniques at Pattukkottai and the work started in Kanniyakumari district from 1-9-80 in the following centres

(1) Agasthiswaram (2) Puthalam (3) Rajakkamangalam (4) Kottumangalam

Each centre consists of one Agricultural Officer, one Asst. Agricultural Officer and about 11 trained skilled labourers.

Scheme Work: The main aim is to produce hybrid coconut seedling, i.e. Tall x Dwarf. The officials of the Seed Production centres have to inspect the coconut gardens. Only disease free, high yielding tall coconut trees have to be selected. These selected trees are treated as motherplants. The Dwarf coconut trees are treated as male plants for the purpose of collection of pollen. Collected pollen has to be dusted on the female flowers of the tall (mother) coconut trees, at the approximate time. The coconut seeds produced by this artificial method come to harvest at the 11th month. These hybrid coconut seeds raised in the nursery are produced as Tall X Dwarf hybrid coconut seedlings.

Coconut Nurseries:     This Nursery was started on1 September 1981 at Manavalakurichy. The total area of nursery is 2.03 ha. T x D coconut nuts are transplanted from the sub centre to T x D nursery for raising T x D coconut seedlings.

Tall Coconut Nursery: The Government coconut nursery atPuthalam is playing a vital role in production of quality tall coconut seedlings to keep pace with the growing requirement of both Kanniyakumari district and neighbouring districts. This nursery was started in 1964. Total area covered by this nursery is 1.97 ha.


Animai Husbandry is a branch of agriculture that deals with the production and care of livestock and poultry in order to increase the yield of such products as milk, meat, eggs, or wool.Present-day animal husbandry relies on scientific methods based on modem agricultural research. Such methods include protecting theanimals from disease, and feeding the animals carefully with selected food. In addition, the breeding of animals is scientifically controlled by means of techniques such as selective breeding, cross breeding, artificial insemination etc.

Animal Husbandry in Kanniyakumari district: The    AnimalHusbandry activities in Kanniyakumari district has been implemented by the Regional Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, Tirunelveli- Kanniya­kumari district. Livestock Census was undertaken and the census figures are mentioned in table-1. Qualitative improvement of indigenous cattle by upgrading through artificial insemination, using superior bulls of exotic breeds has been implemented by Key Village schemes. There is one Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry incharge of three Key Village blocks with 30 sub-centres under his control, as mentioned in table-2. In these Key Village blocks, Friesian bulls, and Murrah bulls are maintained to upgrade the local white cattle and black cattle respectively.

There is one clinician centre at Nagercoil to cater to the needs of local livestock health cover. There are two Assistant Directors of Animal Husbandry whose offices are located one at Nagercoil and another at Thuckalay, as in table 3. They come under the control of Regional Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, Tirunelveli. These Assistant Directors of Animal Husbandry look after all the Animal Husbandry activities in their respective jurisidiction. They are having jurisdiction over the veterinary hospitals, veterinary dispensaries and, the mobile unit as mentioned in table 3, to cater to the needs of the livestock health cover in their jurisdiction. There is one poultry extension centre at Kottaram. To eradicate rinderpest among the livestock, one disease free zone has been established at Nagercoil. One rinderpest district squad has been established at Nagercoil to undertake rinderpest preventive vaccination of susceptible livestock-like, cattles, sheep, goat etc., so that large scale immunity can be maintained in the district. A Rinderpest checkpost at Kavalkinaru has been established to carry out Rinderpest vaccination of livestock moving into and going out of the State, with a view to prevent prevalence of the disease from the neighbouring States by the unprotected animals. The details of rinderpest vaccination done and also the work done in key village centres and clinician centres are furnished in table.

Western Ghat Development Programme has been in operation in this district. Fodder slips and seeds at half cost are given under this programme, to the beneficiaries, who are in possession and maintenance of cattle.

The estimated milk and egg production in this district, during the year 1984-85 is as follows:-

Milk Production          :           5, 16, 25,350 kg.

Egg production           :           2, 57, 78,514 nos.

The meat production during 1985-86 was 1, 99,362 kg. (Approximate).


Livestock census in Kanniyakumari district as on 15 July 1982.

Total livestock 202615

Cattle                          :           103446

Buffaloes                    :           22886

Sheep                          :           4014

Goats                           :           43351

Pigs                             :           12476

Horses and ponies       :           13

Mules                          :           8

Donkeys                      :           329

  1. Domestic Dogs :           16092

Total cattle and buffaloes:      126332

Male                                 :     46409

Female                              :     79923

Total cattle                        :     103446

Male                                  :     31953

Female                               :     71493246

TABLE -1 Contd. Total Cattle (Male)

(1) Cattle(2) Cattleexotic(3) CattleNativepure(4) Crossbreed(5) CattleIndigen­ous(6)
  1. Under 1 Year
8370 5 611 2412 5342
  1. 1 to 2 1/2 Years
4793 7 493 1006 3287
  1. Over 2 1/2 Years -
(i) Castrated 16603 1 3087 793 12722
(ii) Non-Castrated 2187 28 605 285 1269
  1. Total males
31953 41 4796 4496 22620
Total cattle (Females)
  1. Under 1 year
14624 8 1487 4056 9073
2, 1 to 2 1/2 years 11521 34 1301 2907 7279
  1. Over 2 1/2 years -
(I) In Milk 26432 16 2704 7323 16389
(ii) Dry 10269 15 1256 2623 6375
(iii) Not calved even once 8647 16 678 2113 5840
  1. Total females
71493 89 7426 19022 44956



Chank Fishery Operation in Kanniyakumari district: 51 In G O. Ms. No, 749, (F&F) dated 26 February 1958; sanction was accorded to conduct the chank fishery operations departmentally during the year 1957-58. The operations were mainly off Enayam-Puthenthurai and Ramanthurai. Though it was expected that there would be good collection of chanks at Neerodi, Ezhudesam etc., the collection of chanks were considerably poor. Staff sanctioned for chank fishery operation, consisted of chank Fishery Overseer and two persons who worked under the immediate supervision of the Sub-Inspector of Fisheries, Enayam Puthenthurai yard. As there was delay in issuing orders to commence the operations, the collection of chank was poor during 1957-58, since the procurement of chanks was commenced only on 24 January 1958 and closed on 10 May 1958.

The chank fishery was conducted departmentally till 1959-60 and afterwards, it was leased out to private companies at a stretch for a period of 3 years. Accordingly during the year 1960-61, the chank fishing of the district was leased out to the Sangu Company, Kilakarai, erstwhile Ramnad District for a period of 3 years from 15 April 1960 at an annual rent of Rs.4786/- as per G.O. Ms. No. 1409 (Forest and Fisheries Department), dated 14 April 1960. Further, the lease was extended for a period of another

years with effect from 1 May 1963 at an annual rent of Rs.14239/-. As the lessee defaulted in the payment of rental, the lease was cancelled from 6th June 1969. The chank fishery was again leased out.

From the year 1970, after the closure of the lease period, the chank fishing rights were thrown open, under licensing scheme by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Accordingly the chank fishery was conducted through the licensing system, thereafter.

The details of chanks procured departmentally, are furnished hereunder

Year    Full      sized    Wormed          Under  sized

(1)        (2)        (3)        (4)


58           2032       361        282

59           2702       922         28



Agriculture and irrigation

(1) (2) (3) (4)
1959-60 2485 735 239
1960-61 8607 244 2909
1961-62 13231 1409 4
1962-63 11488 1954
1963-64 5945 4556 10
1964-65 1117 3426 100


Details of licence fees collected from 1971-72 are as follows

Year Amount Collected
1971-72 150.00 @ Rs.10/- per licence
1973-74 650.00
1974-75 Nir
1975-76 90.00
1976-77 40.00


However, the particulars regarding the chunks fished by the licensees are not available. Further the chunk fishery was declared as a State monopoly in 1977. No chunk was procured by the department afterwards since there were no departmental chunk fishery operations.

Lobster Fishery: The lobster fishery in Kanniyakumari district has been found to be only seasonal, commencing every year by the end of September and lasting till the end of April. Weather conditions determine the actual commencement and breeze is favourable for the fishing operations. Thus, fishing commences, when the north-east wind abates to a moderate breeze and the sea being favourable for the fishing operations and the operations conclude when the sea become rough, by the end of March, when fishing operations are hampered. The peak fishing season is between 15th December and 15th February every year.

The fishery is more or less solely constituted by the species panulirus homarus. However two more species of panulirus have also met within the catches, but they are comparatively rare. They are panulirus ornatus and panulirus versicolor.

At all the centres of the district, catamaran forms the only type of craft engaged in lobster fishing, tackles in vogue are bottom set gill net, basket, trap, hooks and basket trap. The trap is bailed with the flesh of the brown missel (Mytilus spp.)

Important fishing centres of Kanniyakumari district are Enayam, Middalam, Colachel, Kadiapattinam, Muttom, Rajakkamangalam, Manakudy and Cape Comorin. The nature of work done by the Laboratory Assistant, Marine Biological Station, Cape Comorin is to collect the statistics and the size and sex group composition work. During the period, eight centres (already mentioned including Cape Comorin) were periodically visited and the random samples of lobsters were taken and examined for the size and sex group composition work. Besides, the total landings were also assessed.

The landings for the past five years are as follows:-

1975-76 26.426 metric tonnes
1976-77 34.975 -do-
1977-78 : 50.969 -do-
1978-79 40.670 -do-
1979-80 : 30.010 -do-


The total landings are only for the above eight centres during the period.The various varieties of fisheries are as follows: –

Inland fisheriesStocked Varieties Catla, rohu, mrigal, labeo fimbriatus, common carp, silver carp, grass carp.Non-stocked varieties. -Murrel. Barbus, tilapia, catfish, etroplus.

Marine Fisheries.- Seer, caranx, perches, ribbonfish, white bait, shark skaten and rays, tuna, lactarius, sardine, chirocentrus, cuttle fish, prawns and lobster.

Fish Farms. – Fish seed rearing centre, Pechipparai and Fish seed rearing centre, Chittar-ll are the notable fish farms in the district.

Research Station. – Technological station-There is a Marine Biological Station at Kanniyakumari.

Inland fish operations are undertaken in reservoirs, tanks and ponds me marine fish operations are undertaken throughout the coastal areathe district.

20354 families in marine sector are engaged in fishing.

The fish production for the year 1985-86 is as follows:-

Marine –           70574 tonnes

Inland  –           50 tonnes

There is already one Fish Farmers Development Agency functioning n the district.

Fishery Wealth of Kanniyakumari district52 A favourable association of hydrobiological factors of the gulf of Mannar, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean has made the sea fisheries resources of the Kanniyakumari district rich and varied. With the merger of this area with Tamil Nadu, active steps have been taken by the Fisheries department to accelerate the tempo of developmental work to obtain maximum sustained yield and for its proper utilisation. And towards this end, a special Fisheries Unit under one Assistant Director of Fisheries has been stationed at Nagercoil with effect from the middle of November 1957.

Fisherfolk and their equipments: The Kanniyakumari district has a oastline of 68 km. along which there are 44 fishing villages, with a total population of 1, 14,897, consisting of 32, 915 men, 31, 321 women andi0,    661 children. The chief fishing craft is the catamaran of which there tre 19,264 on the whole. There are also 1312 boats. The gears mployed by the fishermen consist of 591 shore-seiene nets (karavalai), >237 gill and drift nets (valavalai, chalavalai and odamvalai) and 2904 looks and lines.

Fishing seasons: Generally, madivalai are operated from April to October and karavalai from September to June. Gill-nets are set fromAugust to April and drift nets, especially for seer-fishing, from August to November. Nethalivalai is used during April-May and September- October. Line fishing in about 20-25 fathoms depth is conducted almost daily. The rich Wadge Bank situated about 56 km. south- west of the Cape, is mostly exploited from January to April.

The seasons for the important commercial species are as given below:-

White-baits April, May and September-November
Big-jawed Jumper March, April and August-October.
Sabre fish July-September
Cat-fishes February-March
Perches July-August & February-March
Horse Mackerels May-July
Silver-bellies November
Pamfrets March-April.
Tiger fishes January-March.
Sharks (large) July-September
Sharks (small) Throughout the year
Rainbow sardine December-January
Prawns June-August
Rock-cod July-August & December-February
Seer fish August-November
Lobsters November-February


Estimated landings: As per the statistical survey of the fish landings along this district coast, it is estimated that the annual catch is about 70574 tonnes. The important landing centres are Cape Comorin, Muttom, Kadiapatnam, Colachel, Enayam- Puthenthurai and Thuttoor.

All the fishing villages in the district are connected by good roads to Nagercoil. Forty per cent of the catches are cured, and the remaining quantity is sold afresh in the neighbouring villages. About 150 to 200 cycles transport fish from the important landing centres to interior places. About 80 per cent of the cured fish is transported by Lorries to Tuticorin for export to Ceylon. The rest is sent to centres in this State itself like Madras, Koilpatti, Nazereth, Melapalayam, Tenkasi, Paramakudi, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Arakonam and Changanacherry in Kerala State.

The lobster-catches are purchased from the fishermen by three private agencies at Muttom and Manavalakurichi and transported to Trivandrum and Ernakulam for freezing and export to America and thereby earning a good foreign exchange.

Economic Conditions of the fisherfoik: The economic condition of the fisher folk of this district appears to be much better than that of their counterpart in other districts. They are mostly Roman Catholic Christians; the coordinated work of the missionaries among fisher folk and the good fish-catches from the coastal waters contribute to their betterment. Under free housing scheme for fishermen in the State, so far 1608 houses have been constructed covering 25 fishing villages. In every fishing village, there is a church and a school, and the role of fishermen for their upkeep maintenance is significant.

Further developmen: There is considerable scope for improving the catches from this coastal strip. A technological and biological station has been established at Cape Comorin for conducting researches on the assessment, conservation, capture, processing and utilisation of the fish wealth of this area.


To uplift the socio-economic status of the fishermen in Kanniyakumari district a new scheme was started. Under this, mechanised boats have been issued on hire purchase scheme to the fishermen in Kanniyakumari district by the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Limited and also through nationalised banks. The details of the issue of mechanised boats by TNFDC Limited to the fishermen at Kanniyakumari district are furnished below



Indian Overseas Bank, Friday Market 1 24 25
State Bank of India, Nagercoil 1 3 4
Primary Land Development Bank,ay 1 5 6
Primary Land Development Bank,Agasthiswaram 2 2
Primary Land Development Bank,Munchurai 1 1 2
TOTAL 04 35 39
GRAND TOTAL 88 69 157


To avoid the middlemen exploitation in fish procurement from fisherman, a new scheme was started by The Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd. in 1979. Under this scheme, the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Limited itself procures the fish from the fishermen in various coastal fishing villages in Kanniyakumari district.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Limited makes better avenues to the fishermen to get reasonable price for their catches. The fish procured and their values are furnished below from the inception of this scheme:-

Year    Quantity          Value(in kg.)   Rs. Ps.

80811981 -82
  • (2) 0)





(1) (2) (3)
1982-84 No fish procurement
1984-85 3,601.000 50,853.25
1985-86 4,307.000 58,009.00
1986-87 15,175.000 2,31,455.00
1987-88 19,999.00 1,89,750.00


Fish Farmers Development Agency, Nagercoil : The Tamil Nadu Government in their order No.538, Forests and Fisheries Department, dated 27.4.1982 accorded sanction for the establishment of a Fish Farmers Development Agency for Kanniyakumari district during the year 1982-83, with Headquarters at Nagercoil, with an object of developing Inland Fisheries through intensive farming and cultural practices, involving the local rural population and for stopping up the inland fish production in this District. The Agency started functioning from 2 June 1982.

The Objectives of the Scheme

To reclaim progressively and bring all cultivable fishery resources such as ponds, tanks etc., under optimum fish production in this district:

To organise the work of the agency in such a way that it serves as a nucleus activity for its extension to other areas; and

To provide training and popularise a new avocation by way of fish culture to the people and thereby strengthen rural economy, by uplifting those engaged in fish farming, economically viable.

Achievements from 1982-83 to 1987-88

Tanks identified          :           343

Area identified            :           538.95 ha.

Tanks taken over         :           25

Area taken over           :           431.50 ha.

Tanks in operation      :           191

Area in operation       :           370.60 ha.

Fish Farmers trained

Fish Farmers in operation

Fingertings stocked

Quantity of fish harvested

Value realised by sale of fish

Highest production achieved per hectare

Input loan

Input foan issued to fish farmers through agency

Amount collected from fish farmers principal and interest

Input loan issued to fish farmers through bank

Amount collected from the fish farmers towards bank loan principal and Interest

Governmentsubsidy released to fish farmers on input.

Reclamation loan

Reclamation loan issued to fish farmers through bank19 Government subsidy released to fish farmers for reclamation

Fish Seed Production Farm at Chittar Dam II: The Goverment have sanctioned under IRDP scheme the construction of a fish farm for Fish Farmers Development Agency at an estimated cost of Rs.5.1 lakhs on 100 per cent subsidy-vide G.O. Ms.No. 1766 (RD&LA) (IRDIl—) Department dt.17 November 1982. Sixteen nurseries (10.30 x 6.20 m. size) 2 rearing ponds diesel engine and a small office building were constructed. The fish farm at Chittar Dam-ll was taken over onJune 1987. The nurseries and rearing ponds are being used for rearing fish seeds.Therefore priced with reference to the schedule of rates for 86-87, which amounted to Rs.684.00 lakhs.

The scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme shared 50 per cent by the Central Government and 50 per cent by the State Government. Besides certain amenities to a value of Rs.246.84 lakhs are to be provided under State funds.

This project construction of Fishing Harbour at Chinnamuttom in Tamiinadu, envisages introduction of additional 200 fishing vessels of 9.8 m in size, 40 vessels of 16m (Trap Fishing vessels) 5 vessels of 23.00 m and 5 vessels of 28m. The project is aimed to increase the fish landings from 2000T to 35000T. It is expected to generate employment for about 2000 fishermen.

Under the above scheme, construction of eastern breakwater and western breakwater works has been completed.

Formations of approach bund, coastal approach road, initial stage of water supply works etc., have been completed.


Importance of Forestry in the Economy of the district: Forestry is the theory and practice of all that constitutes the creation, conservation, and scientific management of forests and the utilisation of their resources to provide for the continuous production of the required goods and services.

Forests of a district, are natural assets of immense value. They meet the needs of timber, fuel, bamboos and a variety of other products, including fodder which are indispensable requirements of the people living in close proximity of the forests. They also provide facilities for the grazings of the livestock of such people and yield a variety of products of commercial and industrial value such as structural timber, charcoal, raw materials for making paper and a number of other economic products, including medicinal drugs.

Forests also provide employment to a large population who engage themselves in tending, harvesting and regeneration as also in ancillary occupations, processing forest raw material and marketing them.

Indirectly, forests preserve the physical features, check soil erosion, mitigate floods, and make the streams flow perennially and thus help agriculture. Forests make the climate equitable and have a considerablehygienic and strategic value. They also provide shelter to the wildlife which is of scientific and recreational value.

Bifurcated from the Tirunelveli South Forest Division, the Kanniyakumari forest division was formed with effect from 1 April 1977, with headquarters at Nagercoil.

The area of the Kanniyakumari Revenue district is 1671.6 Out of this, the area under reserve forests is 446.5 Which works out to 26.7 per cent of the total area of the district?

The area covered by various reserve forests is as follows

  1. Therkumalai East
  1. Therkumalai West
9.07 -do-
  1. Thadagaimalai
6.75 -do-
  1. Poigaimalai
7.75 -do-
  1. Mahendragiri
43.73 -do-
  1. Veerapuli
249.50 -do-
  1. Velimalai
12.82 -do-
  1. Pechiparai Bit 1 -A.
0.26 -do-
  1. Pechiparai Bit 1 -B.
0.33 -do-
  1. Kalkulam Bit 1-A
0.39 -do-
  1. Kalkulam 1-B
0.44 -do-
  1. Kilamalai
62.16 -do-
  1. Thadalikadu
1.54 -do-
  1. Asambu
39.84 -do-
Total 446.45 -do-
  1. km


The Kanniyakumari forest division comprises of three territorial ranges viz., Kulasekaram, Alagiapandiapuram and Boothpandi, one timber depot range, two survey ranges and one special duty range to attend to the protection, of Upper Kodayar areas.

Further, an area of 4,785 ha. Was under rubber cultivation, which was under the control of rubber circles. Consequent on the formation of Arasu Rubber Corporation with Headquarters at Nagercoil, the Kanniyakumari Rubber Circles East and West were wound up and the areas were brought under the Arasu Rubber Corporation on a long term lease basis. The Corporation is now paying an annual lease rent of Rs.4, 000 per hectare for nature plantations.

Apart from this, an area of 110 ha. was covered under cultivation with cloves and this area is now under the control of cloves forest division.

Plantations with various species and their area are as follows

Teak Plantations                                  2271.00           ha.

Softwood (abbiasiafalcata)                 2614.00           ha.

Bamboos                                             102.00             ha.

Eucalyptus                                          37.50               ha.

Tamarind                                             90.00               ha.


Clove Culture: Clove, a high priced spice is in demand all over world, clove of commerce is the dried matured unopened flower buds. Clove plant grows and flowers almost from the sea level up to an altitude of 900 metres and the suitable temperature range is 25 °c to 30 °c. Rainfall between 1500 and 2000 mm per year is desirable. The plant grows mainly in loose soil with good drainage and sufficient soil moisture throughout the year. Deep black loom soil with high humus content is best suited for clove cultivation. Sunlight is more important for the growth and flowering of the clove.

In the years 1971,1972,1973 and 1975, clove plant was raised in two hectare plot on experimental basis at Mahendragiri R.F. in Alagiapandiapuram range at an elevation of about 600 m. Consequent on the successful establishment of the plant, a new division was formed in the year 1975 and clove plantation was raised at Maramalai in Veerapuli Reserved Forest at an elevation, ranqinq from 250 to 550 m. to an extent of 102 ha.

The break up details were as follows

1976- 31 ha 1977 – 36 -do- 1978- 35 -do- Totai: 102 ha.

The Project report for clove cultivation was sanctioned initially in G.O.Ms.No.700, ( Forest and Fisheries), dt. 24 July 1975. It was a centrally sponsored scheme, implemented under the 5th Five Year Plan, wherein 50 per cent of the expenditure was shared by the centre. The scheme continued till 1984-85 during the 6th Five Year Plan.

In India, so far no scientific study has been made on this horticultural crop. Based on the experiences gained by the enterprising private estate owners, who cultivate clove in Kanniyakumari district for 1970, the scheme was prepared and its cultivation was also started from 1976.

Though the average rainfall for the period between 1975 and 1984 was 1679.59 mm. the year 1982 witnessed a low rainfall of 1262 mm. Further the precipitation was not well distributed. In 1982 and 1983 this area experienced unprecedented drought which resulted in heavy mortality. Being a light demander and water loving plant, the stacking during the year 1983 went an all time low.

Pest and Diseases: Being an exotic and delicate in nature it is susceptible to damage by insect, nomotodes, fungus and virus. Stem borer was very common. The plants were damaged by scales and mealy bugs also. The die back disease due to fungus also noticed. In this case, the affected plants would start withering from top to bottom.

To combat the pest and diseases, maintaining the horticultural sanitation, periodical application of pesticides and fungicides are essential. This area receives at an average 1500 mm. rainfall and the rainy days are well over 100 days in a year. Four weeding in a year are being carried out along with uprootal of labong grass and other perennial shrubs like Eupotorium, lantana etc. wherever necessary. These operations not only keep the plantations free from weeds and help to reduce the damage by pest and disease.

Condition of the plantation: In all four (1971, 1972, 1973 & 1975) plantations stock position as in the year 1986 was as follows

Year total plants survival percentage
1976 8990 8455 95
1977 9300 8875 95
1978 14400 14112 98
Older 2264 2100 93
Total 34954 33542 95
Out of 33542 or 33500 plants excluding older garden, the age of the
plants assessed approximately is shown in the statement
1976 1977 1978
9 year old plant 84
8 133 73 -
7 214 171 271
6 529 296 372
5 832 548 481
4 737 509 534
3 1241 2812 6005
2 3670 4140 5200
1 715 338 1249
8455 8885 14112


Formation of New Division: Balamore which is about 8 -km. from Keeriparai an abandoned tea estate which is now under the control of Forest Department comprising 120 ha. at an elevation of about 450 metre is yet another area, very much suitable for raising cloves without cutting any trees. The another advantage is the Kalikesam river which is running below the area and hence enough water could be pumped and used for irrigation of the plants.

Cultural operations: Clove being a toftcufeural plant & sensitive to drought and weeds. It is shallow rooted w&i numerous root let just below the groundlevel, maintaining horticufiura sanitation seeping the surrounding free from weeds. Other rank growflh ts one of the essential operations in the clove garden.

Weeding : Minimum four weeding n a year and uprootai of long elephant grass enpotordum Santana etc, is necessary in an area where the rainfall is heavy and surrounded by motst deciduous type forest.

Clove Plantation: The life span of the dove tree is more than 250 years and the yield also increase year after year, TO 12th year, the plants give only marginal yiekj-there-after the pianl  give about 2 kg. per plant.

Watering : Watering the plants from the mtddte of December to May first week till South West monsoon season and »n the month of September if the dry period warrants in between the South West and North East monsoons, is most essential.

The plants put heavy branches from ground level to the tip and form a conical shape. The branches are so heavy, the plant is shallow rooted that it is always susceptible to splitting of branches. Likewise the tap root of the younger plant, due to heavy wind and grinding action, breaks and the plant dies. Therefore to protect the plants from these damages, tying the plants with 2 to 3 poles with supporting ropes, in some cases tying the branches with ropes, insulating the stem in some places, trimming the branches wherever broken, etc. are the regular features to prevent physical damage.

Pest and Diseases : Stem borer, root rot, die bach, scales, mealy bug, withering of leaves are the common pest and diseases noticed in this exotic plant all through its life span. To combat these dreaded diseases, preventive and curative operations are essential. The fungicide like dithene, thimmode, borade, blue copper, pesticide like motaystax, Nuvens, DDT etc. are to be applied periodically and specifically, when­ever the manifestation is noticed.

Fertilizer: Enriching the soil for the better growth, consequentincrease in yield is yet another factor in the cultivation of horticultural crops. Now, the practice followed here is 250 grams one doze (all 17)chemical fertilizer and one doze of compost manure is applied The is lateristic with heavy rainfall. The garden lies in steep slope.

The PH value ranges 6 to 6.5 considering the factor arid the size of the plants, the 250 gm. doze is less, this has to be increased year by year with 2 to 5 kg. per flowering plant. Application of potash has also to be considered for the flowering plants.


Timber: Timber extraction is not done in Azhagiapandipuram arid Kulasekaram forest ranges and only thinning of teak is done now. Teak and rosewood are the two timber species which command great demand. Rosewood logs of a girth of 1.85 m. and above, without any major defects are considered to be of shipment quality and they attract buyers from the West Coast who export them abroad, where they manufacture decorative veneers. Apart from these two, other species such as temninaiia, tomentosa lagerstroemia etc. have good demand.

The numerous timber depots at Nagercoil cater to the locaJ needs and also meet the demands of the neighbouring districts. The Government Timber Depot at Nagercoil sells about 6700 cu. metres of timber per annum.

Softwood: Melia dubia and albizzia falcata are in great demand for construction of catamarans. Further, Natch splint Industry utilises allanthus malabarica, alstonia scholaris and albizzia falcatas. These products are absorbed locally.

Fuel and small Timber: All fuel and small timber produces are sold locally in rural as well as urban areas.

Bamboos : Major portion of the requirements of the people are met from the forests in Kanniyakumari district.

Reeds: They are mainly available in Kiiasekaran andAzhagiyapandiapuram ranges and they are being supplied to M/s. Snkumari Handicrafts. Kanniyakumari during 1988-89, as a raw material.

Minor Forest Products : The main items of minor forest produce are honey, tamarind, cardamom, myrobolan, cenes etc. They are mostly absorbed locally. Cardamom is raised inside the forests in various lease units and is transported to other districts for sale

Floods: Floods have been damaging large irrigated areas and the damage is acute particularly in the delta areas. Floods also cause damage to the areas irrigated by tanks, where these tanks are in series and the breach of one tank leads to the failure of crops in large scale in low lying areas.

The best way to control floods is to intercept them with storage reservoirs, so that the excess water may be allowed to flow through the valley in low lying areas.

Droughts: The problems posed by drought vary from area to area, depending on the quantum of rainfall and its variability, and also the extent to which irrigation is developed.

Thus, droughts, floods and sea erosion are natural calamities, which normally affect the economy of a district. As far as Kanniyakumari district is concerned, it is free from serious natural calamities, though at times they raise their swollen heads.

If we trace the history and the impact of natural calamities in the area, the year 1915-16 had witnessed a dry weather, with an unusually prolonged drought. The years 1934 and 1938 also had experienced severe drought in the district, which was later recouped by incessant rains, due to timely setting of south west monsoon.

Again, the year 1969 brought a severe drought in the area which resulted water scarcity in both rural and urban areas. The economic condition of fishermen was worse. As a result of severe dry weather, catches had gone down and many fishermen were thrown out of their occupation. The drought condition was eased, as a result of the setting up of monsoon, later.

1980-81 – Drought: Consequent on the failure of monsoon, the district started experiencing adverse seasonal condition especially scarcity of drinking water in the last month of 1980, necessitating provision for immediate relief.The details of relief measures taken up are as follows:-
Details of water Amount sanctioned No. of. works
Supply scheme. Taken up.
0). (2) (3)
  1. Deepening of wells 3.20
  1. Transport of water
through lorries 0.27 4
Labour Oriented Scheme (Irrigation) -
  1. Highways – Relief works 1.00
  1. P.W.D. Irrigation 4.00
  1. Highways Department Relief
work – Road work 2.00 11


1982-83 and 1983-84 Drought: During 1982-83 also, the district experienced adverse seasonal condition and scarcity of drinking water. On the basis of the recommendations of the study team and also of the High Level Committee at New Delhi, the Government of India approved the ceiling of expenditure for drought relief works in Tamil Nadu during 1982-83 and 1983-84 for a sum of Rs. 77.54 crores for various schemes under drinking water supply employment opportunities, public health and animal husbandry.

Apart from the above, Government ordered remission of collection of land revenue, etc. and postponement of collection of arrears of land revenue and loans under certain conditions. Loans to agriculture for deepening of private irrigation wells were sanctioned during the droughtperiod 1982-83. The Government also sanctioned a scheme of tree supply of dhoties and sarees purchased from the Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co- Operative Society , to the landless agriculture labourers.

As the severity of drought was not over in this district even during 1984, the Government of Tamil Nadu launched a massive programme of relief works to provide not only employment to the people to the affected areas but also undertook repairs,etc. of irrigation sources among other things. From out of the ceiling of Rs. 26.65 crores fixed by the Government of India for the generation of employment opportunities for the rural agricultural labourers, the Government sanctioned a sum of Rs. 12.27 crores for some items of works to be executed by various agencies such as Public Works Department, H & R.W., TWAD, Local Bodies, etc.66

The various items of works undertaken by the Collector of Kanniyakumari under Drought Relief Programme are sinking of new bore wells, deepening of the public drinking water wells, supply of water through lorries, digging new open wells in tank beds, improvements to CWSS in town panchayat and municipalities, improvements to irrigation sources having ayacut of more than 50 acres, improvements to irrigation sources having ayacut of 50 acres and less, formation of new earthen roads, and improvements to Ooranies. Execution of these works has provided employment particularly to the rural folk of the district which has paved way to eke their livelihood during the period of drought.

A statement showing various drought relief works undertaken and theexpenditure incurred there for is appended


  1. Category of No. work

(1) (2)

Agency which executed the work(3) No. of works completed(4) Expenditure incurred (RUPEES IN LAKHS) (5)
1 Sinking of new bore wells TWAD 530 113.97
2 Deepening of the public drinking water wells Local bodies 429 14.00
3 Supply of water through lorries Local bodies 19 10.68
4 Digging new open wells in tank beds PWD 10 5.98
5 Improvements to CWSS in Town panchayats and municipalities TWAD 13 10.49
6 Improvements to irrigation sources having ayacut of more than 50 acres PWD 112 11 00
7 Improvements to Irrigation sources having ayacut of 50 acres and less H & RWs 73 3.17
8 Formation of new earthern roads H&RWS 12 0.76
9 Improvements to Ooranies H & RWs 34 2.22


Again in the year 1987, there was severe drought in Kanniyakumari district because of the vagaries of monsoon. Most of the drinking water wells dried up and the people were put to much hardship to secure drinking water. Hence the Collector of Kanniyakumari made a hectic tour of the district, identified such open wells that had dried up and also the places where deep bore wells had to be dug commensurate with the density of population in and around such places. He formulated a scheme for providing ring wells also. Transportation of water through lorries was also done during the entire drought period wherever necessary. A sum of Rs. 223.67 lakhs has been spent towards water supply.

In agricultural sector, the farmers found it very difficult to ekeout their livelihood because of the fact that they were thrown out of employmenl due to paucity of water for irrigation. In order to mitigate their problems ol such nature, the Collector implemented labour oriented schemes wherever necessary. He took up desilting and reclamation of tanks through the agency of Rural Development and Public Work. Departments. Similarly, soil conservation work was taken up through the agencies viz., Agricultural Engineering Department, Panchayat Union: and Town Panchayats and also Municipalities. Further, existing road were repaired by gravelling, metalling and black topping and repairs t channels and formation of earthern dam and masonry bunds taken u wherever necessary. Thus all these labour oriented schemes wer executed at a cost of Rs. 85.5 lakhs. Collector has also concentrated hi attention towards augmentation of water supply schemes to Kanniyakuma Township also at a cost of Rs. 3 lakhs.

As on 31 December 1987, the following works were completed towards water supply under Drought Relief Programme:-

  1. Details of works No.
No. of works completed
1 New open wells 56
2 Deepening of existing open wells 227
3 Deep bore wells 430
4 Separate feeder lines to water supply scheme 2
5 Comprehensive water supply scheme 40
6 Ring wells 53


A sum of Rs. 199. 80 lakhs was allotted towards relief works as onApril 1988.68

The particulars of labour oriented schemes implemented are given in the Table below:-

TABLE – II Labour Oriented Scheme

Amount No. of Amount
No. of sanction­ works spent
works ed {RS. IN comple­ (RS. IN
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)


Desiiting of Tanksi –

Rural Development                345      45 00

Department Minor Imgation   345      45.00

Public Works Department       71        14.00

Soil Conservation –

(1) Agricultural €ngineering    34        9.95

Department                             34


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
(2) Panchayat Union and Town Panchayat 43 5.75 43 5.75
(3) Municipalities 3 0.50 3 0.30
Director of Rural Development
Roads 27 10.00 27 7.00
Channel 10
Director of Town Panchayats
Roads 17 3.00 17 3.00
Total 88.25 85.50
Allotment Expenditure (RS. IN LAKHS)
Water Supply 218.23 223.67
Labour Oriented Scheme 88.25 85.50
306.48 309.17


Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme        3.00

Kanniyakumari Township       309.48




Name of village(1) Place of occurrence(2) Year and month0) No. offam&es affected(4) Amount spent towards nehef measures (Rs P.)(5)
Ezhudesam Erayummanthurai, Chinnathurai Poothurai, Thoothoor, Keezhkulam Raman thurai 6/79 167 12300 00
KeezhkutamPainkualm RamanthuraiMulloorthuraiKalingarajapuram 7/79 166 12950 00
Koilencode 9/79 2 150.00
Ezhudesam Erayumman thurai, Thoothoor, Chinnathurai 7/80 13 900.00
Midalam Midalam 8/80 72 3750 00
KollencodeMidalam ° % Valiavilai, Marthandamthurai, Neerodi Melmidalam 9/80 3 150.00
KollencodeEzhudesamEzhudesam KollencodeValiavilaiPoothurai 6/817/81 2628 1600.002450.00















Agasthiswaram Taluk : This taluk received heavy rain during the north-east monsoon period in 1978 and 1979 which had flooded all revenue villages, affecting about 1620 rural-folk. A sum of Rs. 1,04, 125/ was disbursed as cash relief, 8100 kg. of rice and 1620 sets of cloths were also granted as relief to the victims. During the floods in 1979, 279 people were affected and a sum of Rs. 15, 285/- was granted as cash relief.

Co-operative movement In agriculture: The Co-operativemovement in Tamil Nadu continues to make progress in various directions. The Government also continue to utilise the services of the movement by opening rural credit societies wherever necessary. These societies have taken up multipurpose activities, such as distribution of manure, agricultural implements, foodstuff, clothing and other essentialrequirements.

The Tamil Nadu Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited: The Tamil Nadu Cooperative Marketing Federation is functioning in this State since 1959 with its main object to serve the farmers of Tamil Nadu both in the supply of their input needs and market their agricultural produce in order to ensure remunerative returns.

Tamil Nadu Cooperative Marketing Federation (TANFED) has 14 Regional Offices throughout the State to look after the field work in its service activities. These Regional Offices are functioning at Kancheepuram, Vellore, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Mannargudi (Thanjavur district), Pudukkottai, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil.

TANFED has 117 ‘A’ class .members including the 114 taluk level Cooperative Marketing Societies and Government of Tamil Nadu and 3908 ‘B’ class members. The total paid-up-share capital of the Federation is Rs.219 lakhs. Its business operation has extended up to a turn-over of Rs. 7682-47 lakhs, during 1987-88 season.

The Nagercoil region exclusively covers the Kanniyakumari district. The Kanniyakumari district, unlike other districts, has special feature and is attracting the market for spices. The important items of marketers’ interest in this district are cardamom, pepper, fruits, cashews, tapioca, cocoa, coconut etc. Like these produces, the fertiliser’s requirement is also a different one so as to serve the needs of plantation crops.

There are 4352 Co-operative societies under different functions acting as the retail outlets of TANFED in its input distribution in Tamil Nadu. About 115 Co-operative societies are looking after the distribution in this tiny district. During the year 1987-88 TANFED distributed Rs.6402 lakhs worth fertilisers in Tamil Nadu and in Kanniyakumari district fertilisers were supplied to the value of Rs. 210.13 lakhs. Besides Rs. 1.62 lakhs worth other inputs viz., seeds, pesticides and implements were also distributed.In the marketing of agricultural produce, TANFED marketed pepper worth Rs. 16.55 lakhs from this district during 1987-88.73

Rubber: The Kanniyakumari District Rubber Growers Co-operative Marketing Society is the only society of its kind in the State engaged in the marketing of rubber. As on 30th June 1983 it had 1522 members on its roll with the paid up share capital of Rs. 4.10 lakhs, which included Rs. 1.39 lakhs contributed by the State Government and Rs. 0.50 lakh contributed by the Rubber Board. During the year 1982-83 the society handled rubber to the extent of Rs. 47.69 lakhs.

The society also undertakes other service functions such as distribution of inputs and requisites like manure mixtures, formic acid, aluminium pans, rubber Kates, tapping knives, digging forks etc., to its grower members.

Grading activities: With a view to encourage the co-operative to undertake grading so as to ensure a better price for the produce of the members, Government are extending financial assistance by way of subsidy towards the cost of grading equipments.


Agricultural marketing involves in its simplest form of buying and selling of agricultural produce. In modern agricultural marketing, it has three important functions, namely, (a) assembling (concentration), (b) preparation for consumption (processing) and (c) distribution (dispersion).

The importance of efficient marketing system was at first recognised by the Royal Commission on Agriculture in its’ report in the year 1928. As a result of the Commission’s recommendation, the Government of India enacted Agricultural Produce Grading and Marking Act (APGMA) in 1937.

Promotion of grading and standardisation of agricultural products is covered under this act. The scheme comprises the grading at two levels namely :-

Consumer level and

Producer or farmer level

Consumer level grading: (Agmark grading) – In our  country,adulteration of consumer products particularly food articles have assumed such serious proportions that consumers even hesitate topurchase what is offered for sale in the open markets especially in the urban areas. The customer is guided by the price factor only rather than quality factor, and this temperament induces adulteration in consumer products. The only solution to this problem lies in “AGMARK GRADING”.

“AGMARK” is literally the abbreviation used to denote the two words “Agriculture” and “Marketing”, i.e. “AG” representing “Agriculture” and “Mark” representing “Marketing”. Although agricultural marketing covers a very wide field of economic activity extending from the field of farmers to the door of ultimate consumers, the shortened form “Agmark” has a limited connotation representing the standard agricultural and livestock products packed and marketed according to the provisions of the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937.

Objectives of Agmark Grading:The   important objectives ofAgmark Grading are :-

The guarantee for quality and undoubted purity to the consumers.

Agmarking promotes distribution of genuine goods of pre-tested quality and purity to the consumers.

Benefiting the producers of the manufacturers with better returns.

By Agmark grading the Govt, ensure the supply of quality goods to the public and protect them from so many hazardous diseases. The intention of introducing Agmark grading is to prevent adulteration in food stuffs and makes available unadulterated food articles to the consumers.

The Agricultural produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937 implies, voluntary system of grading and quality control. Agmark grading is compulsory for exportable commodities. Now there are 35 State Agmark grading laboratories in Tamil Nadu and the commodities are graded for internal consumption. The important commodities, graded in these laboratories are ghee, vegetable oils, honey and ground spices.


The first State Agmark Grading Laboratory was established in this district at Nagercoil and it started functioning from 1 November 1974 in the premises of Vadasery Regulated Market Complex.

The second State Agmark Grading laboratory was started at Marthandam and functioning from 1 April 1982. The laboratory is at present located at Kuzhithurai.


Agmark Grading Laboratory, Nagercoil

  1. No.
Name of the post Number
1. Agricultural Officer (Chemistry) 1 (one)
2. Junior Assistant (Security) 1 (one)
3. Laboratory Assistant 1 (one)
4. Laboratory Boy 1 (one)


Targets and inception Achievements Commodity wise from the
Physical Financial
  1. Commodity
Year Target Achieve­ Target Achieve­
No. ment ment
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
(in Qtls) (IN


1. Coconut oil 1974-75 1100 1184 2200 2368
Honey 605 684 6050 6840
Groundspices 55 101 550 1010
2. Coconut oil 1975-76 4000 3540 8000 7080
Honey 1000 1120 10000 11200
Groundspices 250 250 2500 2500
3. Coconut oil 1976-77 5000 5692 10000 11384
Honey 2000 2053 20000 20530
Groundspices 350 392 3500 3920
4. Coconut oil 1977-78 5525 5184 11000 10368
Honey 2350 2176 23500 21760
Groundspices 550 560 4000 5600
5. Coconut oil 1978-79 5600 4632 11200 9264
Honey 2350 1900 23500 19000
Groundspices 500 177 5000 1770
6. Coconut oil 1979-80 5000 6424 10000 12848
Honey 2000 1001 20000 10010
Groundspices 125 22 1250 220

Target and Achievement (commodity handled) from the inceptionPhysical (qtl.)    FinancialRs.

SI.Vo. Commodity(2) Year(3) Target(4) Achieve­ment(5) Target(6) Achieve­ment(7)
1 Honey 1982-83 1490 1501 14900 15010
2 Honey 1983-84 2000 2103 20000 21030
3 Honey Coconut oil 1984-85 2000 2250120 20000 22500360
4 Honey Coconut oil 1985-86 2200 1885840 2200 188502520
5 Honey Coconut oil 1986-87 20001000 1203550 200003000 120301650
6 Honey Coconut oil 1987-88 22001160 2455680 220003480 245502040


Producer level (or) village level (or) Commercial grading : This grading mainly involves the grading of agricultural produce in the regulated markets at which the buying and selling of the agricultural produce takes place, and at farm holdings to help the producers to get remunerative price for their produce and to educate them about the importance of grading in marketing.

Regulated Markets: “Madras Commercial Crops Market Act 1933″, which was later modified as Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Market Act” 1959 envisages the          formation of    Market Committees at Districthead quarters. Under this    pattern, Kanniyakumari Market Committee wasestablished on 1 January 1967 with headquarters at Nagercoil.

The names of regulated markets and their dates of inception in Kanniyakumari district are given below

Name of Regulated Market    Date of inception

Vadasery                     18 April 1968

Ethamozhi                   18 April 1967

Kaliyakkavilai             25 July 1968

Thoduvetti                  16 Augustl 969

Kulasekaram               1September     1975

Monday Market          16 August 1969

The notified crops for Kanniyakumari district are given below

  1. Coconut, 2. Cashewnut, 3. Tapioca, 4. Tamarind, 5. Jaggery, 6. Paddy,     7. Groundnut and 8. Rubber.

The farmers are given adequate provisions such as resting room, telephone facility, drinking water facility and cattle shed in the campus of regulated markets, to sell their product at reasonable price.

Construction of Rural Godowns: Rural Godowns have been constructed in Tamil Nadu, availing the Central Government assistance at village market places with the aim of helping the small, medium level farmers, to keep their agricultural produce for sometime to avoid distress sale during harvest seasons and wherever prices fall sharp. So far, 89 rural godowns with a capacity of 1000 m.tonnes each have been constructed. Pledge amount at 50 per cent of the produce thus kept, can be availed off by the farmers.

In Kanniyakumari district, five rural godowns have been constructed in the premises of five Regulated Markets viz., Kulasekaram, Kaliyakkavilai, Monday Market Thoduvetti and Vadaseri.

Commercial Grading Centres (at Regulated Market) to impart the education about the quality of the agricultural produce and post-harvest technology and to improve the bargaining capacity among the farmers, commerciaJ grading centres have been started in the premises of regulated markets.

Functions of Commercial Grading Centres: 75 Grading agricultual produce makes the farmers quality conscious. The graders (i.e.) Assistant Agricultural Officers collect the samples of notified or non-notified agricultural commodities, from the arrivals in the Regulated Market and also from the farms and fix the grades according to the commercial grade specifications.

The percentage of refraction viz., foreign matter, brokens, admixture, immature, moisture, discoloured and damaged, are worked out for the sample and grades are assigned to the lots. The grading is done free of charge. The producers are able to gain Rs.5/- to Rs. 10/- more per quintal by grading their produce before sale.

Regular post-harvest technology explaining meetings have been conducted monthly twice, so that the farmers can be made to utilise the services of RegulatedMarket and Commercial Grading Centres.


There are two commercial grading centres in Kanniyakumari district, one at Vadasery regulated market and the other at Monday market regulated market.

Staff Pattern (at each commercial grading centre):

  1. No. Name of         the       post     Number

Agricultural Officer    1 (one)

Laboratory boy           1 (one)

Commodity Graded: The quantity of agricultural commodities graded by the commercial grading centres from 1983-84 to 1987-88 is given below

  1. Commodities 1963-64 no.

(1) (2) (3)

1984-85(4) 1985-86(5) 1986-87(6) 1967-86(7)
Vadasery (from the time of inception) (in qtls.)
1 Paddy 1642 15008 15294 15017 17003
2 Groundnut 1295 6016 6010 6024 6017
3 Paddy 2314 9854 10023 10024 12097
4 Groundnut 3016 5000 4008 4026 4182



Irrigation is the artificial application of water to soil for the purpose of crop production. Water is irrigated through various sources to supplement the water available from rainfall and the contribution to soil moisture from ground water. In many areas of the world, the amount and timing of rainfall are not adequate to meet the moisture requirement of crops and irrigation has therefore become quite essential to raise crops necessary to meet the needs of food and fibre.

Irrigation is an oid art, as old as civilization. The increasing need for crop production for the growing population is causing rapid expansion of irrigation throughout the world.

In the comprehensive strategy needed for the conservation and development of the water resources, several factors such as the availability of water, its quality, location, distribution and variation in its occurrence, climatic conditions, nature of the soil, competing demandsand socio-economic conditions are given due consideration. The aim is to increase agricultural production per unit volume of water per unit and area of cropped land.

Scientific management of irrigation water provides the best insurance against weather-induced fluctuations in total food production. This is the only way in which we can make our agriculture competitive and profitable.

Irrigation in Kanniyakumari district: Irrigation in Kanniyakumari district is carried on with the supply of water available both from river sources and tanks. Irrigation works are classified as major, medium and minor according to the lands irrigated by such works. The major irrigation work in this area is the Kothayar Irrigation Project under which the waters of Kothayar and the Paralayar (which combined to form Kuzhithuraiyar) and the Pazhayar are harnessed and used for irrigation purposes.

Area Irrigated: Out of 80,892 ha. of net area sown (18,263 ha. area sown more than once) in 1983-84, 28,253 ha. total net area was irrigated representing over 34.97 per cent. The percentage of net area irrigated against the net area sown was 35 per cent in Kanniyakumari.

Sources of Irrigation: Tank irrigation is the principal source of irrigation in Kanniyakumari district. The percentage of area irrigated from tanks to the net area irrigated was 56.6 per cent.


The district is well served by the Kodayar Irrigation System, which is one of the oldest systems in Tamil Nadu, providing irrigation facilities for double crop paddy. Ayacut and other details are as follows:-

Kodayar System :       Kodayar system consists of    two damsPechipparai and Perunchani and a network of channels for irrigating 25900 ha. in Kanniyakumari district. The scope of the system is to divert the Kodayar water to Paralayar and augment supply to the channels taking off from Paralayar and thus to feed the lands in Kalkulam, Agastiswaram and Thovalai taluks

Designed ayacut         – 25900 ha. (double crop)

Area irrigable              – 23589 ha. (double)


This area is fed by the four channels namely

Thovalai          channel


- 4007 ha.- 7973 ha.- 6402 ha.- 60.8 km.- 169.6 km.

– 166.4 km.










Water is released from this system for irrigation every year on k t June and closed at the end of February.

The Kodayar system is situated in an undulating and heavily falling terrain in the western slopes of the western Ghats in Kanniyakumari district. The system comprises the integrated operation of commands of the two major rivers viz., Kodayar and Paralayar, and two drainage carrier systems viz., Pazhayar and Valliyar covering an extent of 26000 ha. Over for double crop paddy. Apart from this, the command has been extended for double crop paddy to an extent of 4368 ha. under Pattanamkal command and also for supplementation to 6883 ha. of rainfed lands under Radhapuram command in the neighbouring Tirunelveli district.

The Kodayar system comprises four reservoirs, viz., with a combined live storage capacity of 233.1, Kodayar left bank canal (the main conveyor), a pick-up anicut known as Puthan dam, Thovalai canal, N.P. canal, Ananthanar channel and P.P. canal. In addition, there is the Pattanamkal canal taking off from Kodayar left bank canal, and Radhapuram canal (in Tirunelveli district) which is an extension of Thovalai canal.


The river Thambaraparani in Kanniyakumari district is different from the Thambaraparani river flowing in the adjacent Tirunelveli district. The river has got two main tributaries Kodayar and Paralayar. The Kodyar River originates in the western slopes of the western ghats near Agastiyamalai at an altitude of 1500 metres above mean sea level. The river Paralayar rises in the western slopes of western ghats from a natural lake called “Perunchani Lake” by the side of Muthukuli palace hill and Glenrore hills at an altitude of about 1500 metres above mean sea level and joins with Kodayar. The river Kodayar has many small tributaries among which Chittar I and Chittar II are the important tributaries. After the confluence of Kodayar and Paralayar, the Mullayar stream starting in the hilly slopes in Monkode village joins with Thambaraparani near Thirukurichi village of Vilavancode Taluk.

Adjacent to the Kodayar and Paralayar basins, there are two district and separate small basins called Pazhayar basin and Valliyar basin in which irrigation was practised from time immemorial. The river Pazhayar, small drainage river, originating near Shorolacode a place 1.61 km. north west of Nagercoil, drains the Pazhayar basin and finally outfalls into Arabian sea near Manakudi after traversing a distance of 35 km. Similarly, the other small drainage course called “Valliar” originating at Vallimalai joins the Arabian sea Kadiapattinam after traversing a distance of 16 km. It drains the Valliar basin.

The irrigation works in the district originated in these two drainage basins date back to well over thousand years. In the Pazhayar basin, irrigation was carried on through two channels viz., Ananthanar and Nanjilnadu-Puthanar channel (N.P. channel) taking off from the river Pazhayar by two anicuts across the drain at Shorolacode and Chattuputhur. As the Pazhayar basin was experiencing water scarcity, the Pandian rulers mooted out the idea for interbasin transfer from Paralayar to Pazhayar. About 1000 years back, the diversion anicut called “Pandian dam” was constructed across Paralayar river and a channel called Pandiankal was excavated to feed Ananthanar and N.P. channels of Pazhayar basins.

The Pandian dam got silted up gradually and then the great Chera Ruler Sri Marthandavarma realising that the efficiency got impaired to a larger extent in due course (about 200 years ago) constructed a new diversion weir called Puthan dam across Paralayar about 400 metres downstream of Pandian dam. At the same time, he had also constructed a new canal named Padmanabhapuram Puthanar channel (P.P. channel) for inter-basin transfer of Paralayar basin water to Valliyar basin.

These works no doubt form the nucleus of the present irrigation system in the district.

The Pandian dam and Puthan dam across Paralayar were acting only as diversion weirs thereby most of flood waters in the rivers Paralayar used to flow waste. In Kodayar river, entire flow was unutilised and allowed to go waste. But the command area around Valliyar and Pazhayar basins steadily increased year after year and it resulted this was buitl across Kodayar nver about 1.61 km Mow tia confluence of thraa tributaries KaKar. Chittar and Kuttiyar at Pechipparai a place 11.27 km. north of Kulasefcaram and is 45.06 km. from Nagercoil

A link canal was excavated from left bank of fas dam for a length of 17km. tor diverting Kodayar water lo Puthan oam where the Kodayar where mixes with channel taking off from ParxftankaJ of Cheiamthuruthi was constructed during this period lo feed, a new command on the left side of Pa/hayar basin. The combined flow of Pechipparai dam (through left bank canal to Puthan dam) and Paralayar inflow in Puthan dam was designed lo irrigate the ayacut of about 20000 ha. Through tve sub systems, vt/., P.P. channel, NP. channel, Ananthanar channel, Thovalai channel and Pa/hayar river. This is known as the old Kodayar system

DaSali Pechtppam

Construction yew 1896-1906
Length of Dem 42991 m
Type of dam Masonry
Top of dam mean tea level 94 Jm
Max water level se om
F RL 92.0 m
Sluice aid level 77.4 m
Water spread area 19seam
Capacity gross 190 29 mourn
Net 123.19 m cum
Dead 27 07 ei cum
Catchment area 204 9 sq km
Average rainfall 2190 mm
Design flood 1104 cumfe
Average annual yield 402 n cum.
Surplus regulator 6 nos
Vents 12Jt m X 49 m

With all these developments, there was still potential in Kodayar and Paralayar rivers. Therefore, additional extent in Pattanamkal area (on the left bank of Thambaraparani river) and in Radhapuram taluk of the neighbouring Tirunelveli district was proposed for irrigation.

Pattanamkal System: Chittar-Pattanamkal scheme consists of two earthem dams constructed across Chittar I and II and to interconnect both the reservoirs by means of an interconnecting channel and raising F.R.L of Pechipparai and Perunchani dam by 6’-0″. The feeder canal excavated from chittar dam I will supply to Kodayar L.B.C. The Pattanamkal has been excavated from M.6/4- 200 of Kodayar L.B.C. for a length of 43 Km. with branches of distributaries for irrigating abouthave double crop wet land in Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks. An extent of 3791.52 ha. Including the entire existing ayacut under Pattanamkal system have been developed so far.

Radhapuram Canal System: The Radhapuram canal from 2.09 km. of Nilapparai channel has been excavated under Chittar Pattanamkal Scheme for irrigating about 17,000 acres of dry lands in Radhapuram area of Tirunelveli district the length of channel is about 33.47 km. The length of distributaries is 69.70 km. The field channel is about 81.07 km. The ayacut so far developed 2594.33 ha. only. This is due to shortage of water. Execution of Thadavayar scheme and pumping scheme from Paralayar may improve the position.

Further two more dams, Chittar I and Chittar II were constructed across Chittar river-l and Chittar river II in the years 1964-70. These two dams are interconnected by link canal and the Chittar-I was connected to Kodayar left bank canal through a feeder canal.

Further details of these two dams are as follows:-

Chittar Dam – I.— This dam has its source in the mountains in Kilamala Reserve Forest near Ettukani and Vandiplavukani at an elevation of 2000 ft. above mean sea level and is at about 1.61 km. upstream of the confluence of the river Kodayar. The gross capacity of the dam is 610 m.cft.



Construction Length of Dam:                         1964-70 818.40 m

Type of dam:                                                   Earthen

Top of dam mean sea level Max. Water level: 85.0 m. 82.6m.

Full reservoir level 82.0 m.
Sluice sill level 76.5 m.
Water spread area 2.90 sq. km.
Capacity gross 17.27 m.cum.
Net 11.13 m.cum.
Dead 6.14 m.cum.
Catchment area 22.0
Average rainfall 2080 mm.
Design flood 235 cum/s.
Average annual yield
Surplus regulator 2 nos.
Vents 12.2 m. X 4.6


CHITTAR DAM – II. – This dam has its source in Kilamala Reserve

Forest at an elevaion of 701 m. above m.s.l. and is at about 1.6 km. upstreams on the southern and eastern slopes of Kurinchimalai, after running for 5.8 km. merges at Sivalogam Estate to form Chittar-ll and then flows for 4.4 km. and thereafter joins with Kodayar. The gross capacity of the dam is 1009 m.cft.
Details Chittar-ll
Construction Year 1964-70
Length of Dam 1133.9 m.
Type of dam Earthem
Top of dam mean sea level 85.0 m.
Max. water level 82,0 m.
Full reservoir level 82.0 m.
Sluice sill level 76.5 m
Water spread area 4.10sq.Km.
Capacity gross 28.57 m.cum.
Net 16.99 m.cum.
Dead 11.58 m.cum.
Catchment area 25.9
Average rainfall 2030 mm.
Design flood 265 cum/s.
Average annual yield -
Surplus regulator 6 nos
Vents 6.1 m. x 4.6 m.


With all these developments there was still potential in Kodayar and Paralayar rivers. Therefore, additional extent in Pattanamkal area (on the left bank of Thambaraparani river) and in Radhapuram Taluk of the neighbouring Tirunelveli district was proposed for irrigation.

The Pechipparai and Perunchani dams were also raised, strengthened and improved during 1964-70 to take additional storage by raising the full reservoir level by 1.83 m. The capacity of Kodayar left bank canal was also increased. The new canal, Pattanamkal was excavated from Kodayar left bank canal to serve an extent of 5557 ha. in Kanniyakumari district. Another canal to serve 6883 ha. Of dry land of Radhapuram area of Tirunelveli district was excavated from the tail end of Thovalai channel at Nilapparai.

The two reservoirs viz., Chittar-I and II, the improvement in storage capacity of Pechipparai and Perunchani reservoirs, the improvements in left bank canal and Thovalai channel and new channels Pattanamkal and Radhapuram form part of the scheme called Chittar-Pattanamkal scheme (1964-70). Also an extent of 513 ha. Under Thirparappu weir was included for stabilisation (by special releases from Chittar-ll) under the Chittar Pattanamkal Scheme.

In addition to the four irrigation reservoirs described above, two reservoirs for electricity were constructed by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board during 1963-71 in the upper reaches of Kodayar of 85 and 0.8 capacity for producing 100mw. electricity. The operation of these power reservoirs are linked to the irrigation reservoir operation of Pechipparai dam as per rules in force.

The details of tanks in this district are given below taluk-wise

SI.No. Name of taluks Rainfed tanks (Manavari) System tanks (channel fed)
1 Vilavancode Taluk 922 49
2 Agastiswaram Taluk 8 180
3 Kalkulam Taluk 464 614
4 Thovalai Taluk 92 118



The Kodayar command and Pattanamkal command areas, which cover almost the entire district, enjoy a semi-arid tropical climate with cool winter and warm to hot weather in summer. The minimum temperature ranges from 26.4°c to 30.51 °c and the maximum varies from 32.54°c to 37.38°c.


The command area is characterised by a rugged sloping topography with terrain sloping towards the river courses and the sea. In the command area, three main soil groups are present. They are laterite type of soils, mixed types of red and alluvial soil, and red loam and laterite with coastal alluvium. The fertility of the soil varies largely in different parts of the district. The high acidity prevalent in the district is mainly due to the heavy rainfall and heavy leaching of bases in the hilly areas.

In the light of the historical sequence of irrigation developments, the irrigated areas of the district are grouped into two separate commands as belowKodayar command served by P.P. channel, Thovalai channel, Ananthanar channel and N.P. channel (total 21227 ha. of double crop paddy) andPattanamkal command served by Pattanamkal canal (5583 ha. of double crop paddy).


The rainfall in the district averages about 1500 mm. per. year. Both south west (June to September) and north east (October to December) monsoons contribute equally to the annual precipitation. There are considerable vagaries in the annual rainfall, both in time and space, from more than 2000 mm. at the dam sites in the north-west part to 800 to 900 mm. in the tail end of the irrigated areas in the south-east portions of the district.

Agriculture in Kodayar command is dependent more on the surfacewater, and exploitation of ground water is very limited. The ground water

movement follows the general topography of the ground surface. Theslope of the water table is towards south- east in the eastern half and

towards south-west in the western half of the district. The Kodayar riveris a gaining stream in its traverse as it receives ground water storage. t


Under the above project, it has been proposed to take up the Kodayar system for overall modernisation, for which a Project Report has been prepared by the Tamil Nadu P.W.D. after making extensive investigation and comprehensive study of the existing system in the light of the operational experiences gained during the past 15 years. The project report has been prepared by following the suggestions made in a reportresulting from a joint team of the Government of India and the World Bank which visited the Kodayar system in the Kanniyakumari district in December 1985.

The scheme proposals have been formulated giving due consideration to correcting the deficiencies in the system while simultaneously improving its overall efficiency. This is expected to result in overall savings in the water used for irrigation as well as increased crop production. The scheme, proposed to be completed in about 5 years at a cost of Rs.127 millions, is to be financed with World Bank assistance.

To tone up the system dificiencies and aiming at overall modernisation, the National Water Management Project envisages

Rehabilitation of Kodayar left bank canal, Thovalai canal, N.P. channel, P.P. channel, Pattanamkal and Radhapuram canal by way of physical investments and improvements on renovating the canals, outlets, regulators, etc., standardisation of jeep tracks, improving the distribution network and communication systems.

Optimum water use, through rotation and better control of water use.These operational interventions and physical improvements, when implemented are expected to result in more equity of water distribution and consequently higher productivity.

Canal System: Surface water stored in reservoirs or diverteddirectly, is distributed through the canal irrigation network. A canal takes off from the head works of either a water storage dam or barrage or a diversion dam. Irrigation water flows through the complete canal system before it reaches the farmer’s field to be irrigated. The canal network consists of canals, distributaries, water courses, and field channels.



s.No. Name of Canal (1) (2)(3)(4) Design Capacity in cum/sec. Design duty I/S ha. Length in kms. No. of outlets F.S. Depth (9)
Maincanal(5) BranchDistributarycanal(6) MainCana1(7) Branch Distributory cana1 (8)
1 Kodayar left bank canal 32.99 1.054 16.80 . – — 2.07
2 Thovalai channel 10.08 1.054 48.52 15.6 68 53 1.65
3 Nanchilnadu Puthanar cana: 10.60 t - 27.70 4.3 84 28 1.50
4 Ananthanar 4.76 1.054 24.0 45.6 71 143 1.05
5 P.P. Channel 9.77 1.054 30.00 93.0 72 292 145
6 Pattanamkal 5.78 0.986 43.07 92.0 109 102 1 65
7 Radhapuram canal 4.25 0.586 28.00 87.67 31 p |f j 1.20
8 Pandiankal 22.37 1.054 2.20 - i
9 Regulator kal 2.02

The canal capacities and discharges in Kanniyakumari district

Report of the Executive Engineer, P.W.D. Kanniyakumari Division. Nagercoil. Dated 12 Ma/ 1988.

Mutlayar Reservoir Scheme: The Mutlayar scheme was proposed across Mullayar River near Anducode village of Vilavancode taluk of Kanniyakumari district. The estimated cost of the scheme was Rs.1, 170 lakhs. The scheme was proposed to irrigate 500 acres of new dry ayacut and to raise wet crops in 216 acres by way of stabilisation. The net additional food production anticipated is 789 tonnes. The scheme was under preliminary stage of investigation.

Modernisation of Kodayar Irrigation System: The     projectcontemplates modernisation of Kodayar Irrigation system, covering Kanniyakumari District, and part of Tirunetvei* district (Radhapuram taluk). The scheme envisages stablisation of the entire existing ayacut, besides bridging the gap and setting right the deficiencies of the Kodayar system. By implementing the scheme, the following lands will be benefited:-

Stabilisation double wet                                             -46188 acres

Bridging the gap including     newayacut (wet)         -18375             (556.68 ha.)

Bridging the gap including     newayacut (dry)          -25520 ”           (10332 ha.)

The benefit cost ratio of the scheme as per the norms of Central Water Commission works out to 3:93:1. The cost of the scheme works out to Rs.4,289 lakhs, as per 1986-87 schedule of rates. The scheme was under consideration of Government.

Mambazhathuraiyur Reservoir Scheme: The Mambazhathuraiyur reservoir scheme comprises the formation of a reservoir across Mambazhathuraiyur river with an effective capacity of 51 mcft. In Villukeeri village in Kalkulam taluk of Kanniyakumari district at an estimated cost of Rs.575 lakhs. The ayacut to be benefited is 192 ha. Under stabilisation wet. The total land to be acquired is 40.97 ha. out of which 4.04 ha. are reserve forest lands. The additional food production due to implementation of the scheme will be 452 tonnes. The rate per tonne, acre and hectare, works out to Rs. 1, 27,212. Rs.60, 526 and Rs. 1, 49,350 respectively. The B.C. ratio as per old norms works out to 0.19:1. The preliminary estimate was sent to Government for approval.

Poigai Reservoir Scheme:The Poigai reservoir schemecontemplates the formation of a reservoir with a capacity of 95.27 m.cft.. across Poigaiar near Aralvoimozhi village in Thovala taluk of Kanniyakumari district, at an estimated cost of Rs.1087 lakhs. By implementation of the scheme, an extent of 653.85 ha. of land will be benefited Additional food production anticipated is 1484 tonnes. The rate per tonne acre and hectare works out to Rs.73,248/, Rs.67,307/ and Rs. 1,66,208/ respectively. The B.C. ratio based on the Central Water Commission guidelines works out to 0.90:1. This scheme was sanctioned in G.O.M.S. No. 1925 Public Works Department, dated 2 December 1988.


The excavation work of the left bank canal of the Neyyar project was inaugurated on 27th July 1958 by the then Chief Minister at Kaliakkavilai in the Kanniyakumari district.

The Neyyar project comprises construction of a gravity masonry dam across the Neyyar river in Kerala State at a place called Chempilamodu, about 30.4 km. south-east of Trivandrum. The water thus impounded will be utilized for irrigation of 13805.67 ha. by means of two channels-one on either side, the right side channel 33.6 km. long, will irrigate an area ofha. Lying entirely in Kerala State. The left side channel, 38.4 km. long, will irrigate 7732.79 ha. Lying partly in Kerala and partly in the limits of Tamilnadu (Kanniyakumari district).

The first stages of the project comprising the construction of the dam and the right side channel have been completed at an estimated cost of Rs.143 lakhs. The second stage comprising the construction of the left side channel system at a cost of Rs.105 lakhs is programmed to be taken during the Second Five-Year Plan period. This channel up to 38.4 km. runs in Kerala State and thereafter in the State of Tamil Nadu is about 4048.58 ha. in Vilavancode taluk of Kanniyakumari district.

The channels and distribution systems lying in their territory will be excavated by the respective States. Including the proportions to cost of dam and headworks provided by Kerala State, the share of the State of Tamil nadu towards the cost of irrigating the 10,000 acres in their limits, is about Rs.92.28 lakhs.



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