MAYILADUTHURAI: The sporadic rainfall over the past few days has hit Kuruvai harvest work in the district as farmers complain of their paddy crop in maturing stages having slanted in the downpour. T Ramesh, a 32-year-old farmer from Manakkudi in Mayiladuthurai block, said,
"My crop over about three acres has tilted from the rains. I am more concerned about the weather forecast for next week. We could not get a track-model harvester for rent from the agriculture engineering department to reap the damp fields, leaving us at the mercy of private dealers." With the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department pegging the acreage of Kuruvai paddy cultivation in the district at 37,870 hectares this year, farmers kicked off harvesting work this week.
They prefer track-model harvesters over wheel-model harvesters as the former can move freely through rain-hit paddy fields. However, the agriculture engineering department in the district has only two track-model and one wheel-model harvesters while private agencies have over 80 of the former.
Farmers also expressed concern that they could not insure their Kuruvai crop as the insurance notification was not issued by the State government for this year. SN Sekar, a farmer from Maraiyur, said, "The State government should provide us crop damage relief." R Pandurangan, a farmer from Edakudi in Kuttalam block, said, "The paddy we harvest will be moist.
TNCSC will not pay us in full if moisture content is more than 17%, and will pay us nothing if above 20%. The moisture content should be relaxed considering the possibility of more rains this week." When contacted, J Sekar, the joint director of agriculture department in Mayiladuthurai, said,
“The farmers can harvest the lodged (slanted) crops once there is adequate sunlight. It may become a problem if rains continue. We advise the farmers to drain their fields while it rains."