Amid uncertainty over Cauvery water reaching Tamil Nadu from Krishnaraja Sagar Dam in Karnataka, pump set-dependent farmers in the delta districts of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur have started preparations for Kuruvai crops.
Farmers primarily owning pump sets have begun preparing their fields for sowing in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. Some of them said, “Unlike last year, we cannot depends on Cauvery water.”
The steady decrease of power cuts in the delta region was a welcome change, said the farmers. Also, the three-phase power supply had improved. However, in Thanjavur, around 7,000 acres might go for Kuruvai cultivation with water from pump sets. Areas like Ammapettai, Papanasam, Kumbakonam and Thirupanadal had a high concentration of pumpsets and using them in a large scale would deplete ground water, which the farmers expected to recharge during the monsoons. Skipping Kuruvai crop due to water was a tough decision to take, said Swamimalai Vimalanathan of Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Association. Usually, the season throws up a good harvest allowing farmers to earn and save money. Failing to assure water from Cauvery and uninterrupted electricity were failures of the agriculture sector in the state, he said.
The farmers also expressed similar views and said that most of them were prepared to skip Kuruvai this year. In Thanjavur, around 20,000 acres was cultivated for Kuruvai every year. Only 5,000-6,000 acres might be cultivated this year, said agriculture department officials.