Delta maize farmers still await relief for crop lost to fall armyworm

6 months have lapsed since the State govt announced compensation for these farmers

TIRUCHY: Six months have passed since the State government announced relief for crops lost in fall armyworm attack but maize farmers are yet to receive the compensation. According to a government report, 12,000 hectares of maize were damaged and 16,000 farmers in the district incurred losses. Pullampadi, Manachanallur, Thuraiyur, Uppilliyapuram and Vaiyampattai were among the worst-affected areas. 

“The government announced compensation of Rs 7,410 per hectare for rain-fed maize and Rs 13,500 per hectare for irrigated maize. The relief was much less compared to our actual losses. We incurred losses of up to Rs 15,000 per acre as we could not harvest even a single tonne of maize. However, the compensation would have been enough to cover our primary cost of ploughing,” said Chinna Durai, a farmer in Kallakudi.

The Agriculture department advised farmers to begin summer ploughing this year to prevent further armyworm attacks. Despite the advice, farmer have left their lands untouched. “Usually ploughing period begins in June every year, but this year we have still not cleared our old crop,” added Durai, who cultivates maize on 25 acres. Speaking to Express, a senior Agriculture department official said, “We had sent details of the farmers along with their bank accounts to the government long ago. 

There has been a delay in sending the compensation due to the elections. We are hoping funds for compensation would be disbursed by the end of this month for farmers.”

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The New Indian Express