Erode District Information
Background of the District:
Erode District lies on the extreme north of Tamil Nadu. It is bounded mostly by Karnataka State and also River Palar covers pretty long distance. To the East lies Namakkal and Karur Districts. Dindigal District is its immediate neighbour to the South and on the West, it has Coimbatore and Nilgiri Districts, as its boundaries. Thus Erode District is essentially a land-locked area having no sea-cost of its own. Erode District situated at between 10 36” and 11 58” North Latitude and between 76 49” and 77 58” East Longitude.
The region comprised in the district can be portrayed as a long undulating plain gently sloping towards the river Cauvery in the south-east. The two major tributaries of river Cauvery viz. Bhavani and Noyyal drain the long stretch of mountains in the north. A part of the eastern boundary of the district is formed by river Cauvery, entering the district from Salem and flowing in a southern direction.
Erode District consists of 9 taluks viz., Erode, Modakkurichi, Kodumudi, Perundurai, Bhavani, Anthiyur, Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam and Thalavadi. There are 4 Municipalities in the district viz., Sathyamangalam, Bhavani, Gobichettipalayam, and Punjai Puliampatti. The other four Municipalities in the district viz. Periasemur, Kasipalayam, Surampatti and Veerappanchatram have been merged recently with Erode Corporation. There are 42 Town Panchayats, 230 Village Panchayats and 375 Revenue Villages. There are 14 Community Development Blocks in the district.
The district in general is characterized with a scandy rainfall and a dry climate. Maximum rainfall is recorded in Gobichettipalayam and Bhavani taluks. The Palghat gap in the Western Ghats, which has a soothing effect in the climate of Coimbatore District, does not render much help in bringing down the dry climate in this area. The cool-wind that gushes out of the west coast through Palghat gap looses its coolness and becomes dry by the time it crosses Coimbatore district and reaches Erode region.
The soils of the district are mostly red sand and gravel with moderate amounts of red-loam and occasional black loam tracts. Vast stretches of the upland regions are mostly and gravelly. Red-loam occurs mostly in land under Kalingarayan channel and in beds of tanks in Erode Taluk and to some lesser extent in the valleys in Perundurai taluk. It also occurs in the hilly tracts of Bhavani taluk.
Bhavani, Cauvery and Noyyal are the main rivers of the district. Other significant river is Palar in the North. Palar constitutes the boundary between Erode district and Karnataka State in the North. The Bhavanisagar main canal along with the above mentioned rivers provide proper drainage and facilities for assured irrigation in the district. Bhavani rises in the silent valley in Palghat ranges in the neighbouring State of Kerala after receiving Siruvani, a perennial stream of Coimbatore District and gets reinforced by the Kundah river before entering Erode District in Gobichettipalayam.
Bhavani is more or less a perennial river fed mostly by the South-West monsoon. North-East monsoon also supplements its water resources. This river runs for over hundred miles through Erode District traversing through Bhavani and Gobichettipalayam taluks. It feeds the Bhavanisagar reservoir which takes an easterly course flowing through Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam and Bhavani taluks before it ultimately joins river Cauvery on the Salem borders.
More than 228,750 hectares of land under dense forest, Erode is one of the few fortunate districts in the State which can boost of extensive forest area. 27.7% of the total district area is under forests. These forests are rich in commercially significant items such as teak, sandalwood, rosewood, vogai, pillaimaruthu etc. Sandalwood is abundant in moyar valley and in strips facting Dodda Combai in Talamalai ranges. Tamarind trees are plenty in Bhavani ranges. In high land forest of elevation 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet, diversified flora are prevalent. Here we find semi evergreen type, teak type, sandal type, bamboo type and shola type of vegetation.
Land and Land use pattern:
As per revenue land records, the total geographical area of the district is 572,264 hectares. Of those 199,389 hectares have been brought under cultivation as net area sown. This accounts for34.8% of the total area of the district. Area sown more than once is 25,397 hectares i.e. 12.73% of the total net area sown. Total cropped area is 224,786 hectares i.e. 39.2% of the total area in the district. Forests account for 227,511 hectares i.e. 39% of the total area. Cultivable waste has been reduced to mere 1707 hectares in the district. Less than 9.2% of the total area is put to non-agricultural use (53,004 hectares). However, 14.5% is accounted for by fallow lands (83,368 hectares). Trees, crops, groves, Orchards etc. together account for about 0.6% of the total area in the district. Of the 199,389 hectares brought under cultivation, 25397 hectares are sown more than once, thus enhancing the total area cropped to 224,786 hectares. If this is taken into account, the percentage of total cropped area to total area of the district will work out to 39.2% thus publishing better utilization of available land resources in the District.
Erode district is by no means backward in the field of agriculture. Close association and link with Coimbatore district which has the advantage of two premier agricultural Institutions viz., the Agricultural College and the Research Institute have helped the ryots to keep abrest of developments in agricultural methods and practices and also improved strains of seeds. The publicity and developmental activities launched by the agricultural institutions in Coimbatore penetrated far and wide in Erode District. Added to this was the propaganda and demonstration organised by the Agricultural Department. Availability of irrigation facilities coupled with the awareness of improved methods of farming helped the agriculturists to forge ahead. Though the soil is not the best, utilization of improved methods of cultivation and improved strains of seeds together have helped the agriculturists in the district to maximize their output. Paddy accounts for 86,939 hectares. Next to Paddy is Cholam which is raise in more than 11240 hectares.
Production and Productivity of Major Crops in Erode District:
The district is rich in its natural cattle wealth and concerted efforts of the animal husbandry department have further augmented the cattle wealth in the district. There are major breeds of the cattle in the district. Kangeyam breed, Bargur breed and Kollegal variety. The Kankeyam cows are reared in large numbers, due to their rich milk yield. Kankeyam bulls are also noted for their draught capacity. Bargur breed though smaller in size are well built and sturdy. Kollegal variety is noted for their road draught and is normally reared for transport purposes.