Farmers cultivating fruits like grapes on ‘pandal’ are advised to erect anti-bird nets with subsidy under the National Horticulture Mission to protect the fruits from birds, squirrels, owls, etc., as the netting protects the crops from extensive damage to fruits and vegetables.
Anti-bird netting is an effective method for preventing crop loss usually caused by birds that invade the vineyards in flocks. Anti-bird netting can be done manually or mechanically depending upon the need. The anti-bird nets can also be used for holding animals in an enclosure, thus preventing any pillaging by birds and in some instances for keeping wild animals out and preventing consequent damage. With regard to aviary protection, wide-meshed nets are recommended.
Plastic anti-bird netting is a light weight but strong netting that will protect soft fruits and vegetables from bird attacks and browsing animals. Anti-bird netting can be used for fruit cages, protection of crops from birds, rabbits, squirrels and other similar pests, he added.
The plastic bird netting is lightweight, easy to handle and simple to install over fruit cages, directly over fruit trees and on vegetable or fruit growing areas.
The netting apertures allow smaller essential pollinating insects through and smaller butterflies while preventing birds. Anti-bird nets have a rectangular structure which creates a strong plastic mesh structure, making it easier to install and long lasting than the diamond mesh structured plastic bird netting.
Inspecting a field with anti-bird netting protection at Krishnapuram in the district, S. Raja Mohamed, Deputy Director of Horticulture, said 50 percent subsidy at the rate of Rs. 17.50 per sq.m. limited to 5,000 sq.m. per beneficiary was being given under the NHM to the farmers, who needed anti-bird nets.
As a promotional measure during the current fiscal, 1,000 sq.m. had been allotted to P. Ravichandran of Krishnapuram under this component with an allocation of Rs. 17,500.
“Farmers cultivating fruits like grapes and vegetables grown on ‘pandal’ may go for anti-bird netting with the NHM subsidy. While this effort fetches sizable assistance, the yield is also increased substantially by preventing invading birds and smaller animals,” Mr. Raja Mohamed said.
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