Puducherry assistance for clearing prosopis boosts Karaikal farmers' hope of increased cultivation

P Rajenthiran, a farmer representative from Karaikal Regional Farmers’ Welfare Association, said, “The government aid is commendable.

Published: 30th March 2023 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 08:50 AM   |  A+A-

Prosopis plants

The Prosopis plants engulf a village near Kottucherry in the Karaikal district | Express

Express News Service

KARAIKAL:  The Puducherry government’s announcement of assistance of Rs 15,000 per hectare for Karaikal farmers to rid their fields of Prosopis (seemai Karuvelam) plants has set off hope of an increase in the area of cultivation.

Puducherry Agriculture Minister 'Theni' C Djeacoumar during Question Hour in the legislative assembly on Wednesday announced the Union Territory government assistance of Rs 15,000 per hectare to rid fields of the invasive plant species.

P Rajenthiran, a farmer representative from Karaikal Regional Farmers’ Welfare Association, said, “The government aid is commendable. By removing the invasive growth, we can retrieve cultivable lands. Our area of cultivation will increase. However, the government should ensure that farmers clear the growth on a mass scale synchronously.”

According to sources, plant overgrowth is reported more in the communes of Neravy and TR-Pattinam in Karaikal. PG Somu, a farmer representative, said, "The government should assist to rid the whole of Karaikal’s cultivation from prosopis. We also expect the government to allocate funds for desilting channels and to increase subsidy for our crops such as cotton and pulses."

It may be noted that the Puducherry government has announced assistance only for the cultivation of over 100 hectares while Karaikal undertakes cultivation of around 5,000 hectares. Farmers also expressed relief by the assistance as they complained of seemai karuvelam attracting pigs and peafowl towards their cultivable lands.

When enquired, J Senthilkumar, the additional director of agriculture in Karaikal, said, "Peafowl do not usually stay in open paddy fields and rather take shelter amid invasive growth such as prosopis. If the farmers remove them frequently, they can prevent them from invading their fields."

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