STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Cotton farmers desperate for passes

Cotton farmers in Karaikal have requested the district administration to give them and farm workers passes to carry out work in the fields in order prevent the crops from pest attack.

Published: 31st March 2020 02:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2020 02:51 AM   |  A+A-

A farmer spraying pesticide at Padalur in Perambalur | MK Ashok Kumar

Express News Service

KARAIKAL: Cotton farmers in Karaikal have requested the district administration to give them and farm workers passes to carry out work in the fields in order prevent the crops from pest attack. Cotton cultivation is taken up on about 1,000 acres in the district. Due to lack of maintenance, which includes spraying of pesticides, during the curfew period, most of them are prone to pest attack.

“We have cultivated cotton extensively in Karaikal district after the government assured us back end subsidy. Cotton is a crop which needs to be monitored daily in order to prevent the spread of pests. Pests have to be controlled at the early stages itself before it wreaks havoc to the entire crop. We understand that the curfew was announced to prevent the spread of virus, but we also have to work in our fields to save our crops. Hence, we request curfew passes for us and our farm workers, “said S Rajendran, a farmer-leader.

Most of the farmers have cultivated ‘Bt cotton’, a genetically modified crop, which has gained notoriety in recent years in Tamil Nadu’s cotton belt districts like Perambalur, Ariyalur, and Tiruchy to have attracted pests like bollworm, fungi like powdery mildew, bacteria like black arm, and has resulted in conditions like root rot. However, now the farmers fear that they need to control the pests before they multiply exponentially during the ongoing phase of curfew.

“We do not get fertilisers like urea easily in Karaikal. Many of us have to cross borders, go to places like Tharangambadi and Sembanarkoil, where we are restricted. Our workers also come from districts in TN and are not allowed inside Karaikal. I may not get my usual yield of 20 quintals of cotton if we are not allowed to move,” said S Selvamuthukumarasamy, a farmer-representative from Thirunallar. A senior agriculture department told TNIE that the district administration would take a call on the issues when there is more requirement for access.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp