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Migrants now enter agri fields in Nellai

The farmers across the district have begun transplanting paddy saplings from nurseries to field for pisanam cultivation, thanks to the rains.

Published: 23rd November 2021 05:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2021 05:25 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant labourers working in a paddy field in Tirunelveli| V karthickalagu

Express News Service

TIRUNELVELI: With no local workers available as they are all employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme, the farmers in the district are left with no choice but to rope in migrant workers hailing from north Indian states for transplanting paddy.  

The farmers across the district have begun transplanting paddy saplings from nurseries to field for pisanam cultivation, thanks to the rains. “They are now hoping for a good harvest during Pongal festival as water from major dams have been released and rains filled the tanks across the district,” they said. 

Sources said until last year, the farmers hired local farm labourers to work in their land  by offering a daily wage ranging between `250 to `350 per person. “However, this year,  farmers have to employ workers from north Indian states for the transplantation works due to lack of labourers,” they pointed out.

A migrant worker, P Karthik from Kolkata, said he learned many a trade including paddy transplantation and harvesting while he was in his native place. “We reached here for working at brick kilns. Now, due to heavy rains, the kilns are all shut. So we took up a job we know,” he said. 

Another migrant labourer, M Sugumar working in Seevalaperi, said he had to migrate to the district as he was unable to find work back home in Kolkata. A farmer who employed migrant labourers in his field said he has to give them a daily wage of `400 each for transplantation. “In addition to this, I have to give them tea, snacks and `500 towards transportation charge,” he added.



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