COIMBATORE: Many farmers who applied for micro-irrigation subsidy are waiting for approval from the government for the past four months due to difference in rates quoted by private agri engineering companies and agriculture department. Farmers said their applications should have been cleared by the department in April.
K Rajkumar, a farmer from Thondamuthur, said, “I applied in March for my 2.5 acres to cultivate vegetables. I have completed all the procedures, yet, my application is still not approved. When I sought details for delay, officials told due to offer price differences between government and company, applications were kept pending.”
A Karuppasamy, a farmer from Kuppanur village narrated the same grievance for his 1.5 acres to cultivate shallots. “Almost a month has passed since submission, yet, there is no communication. As the work order is yet to be offered to private agri engineering company, which has given quotation for the work, laying of micro-irrigation model will be getting delayed further,” he added.
R Periyasamy, deputy president of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam said, “Citing inflation, the private agri engineering companies are demanding the government to revise the cost. As there is difference over fixing of cost between the government and the private companies, farmers are ultimately suffering as they could not start cultivation this season.”
When contacted, AG Shaffe Ahamed, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department (Micro Irrigation and Watershed), he said the government was working out a solution for the issue. “The companies who were issued work order already for laying micro irrigation system are yet to complete them as our department insists they complete the previous orders first. This was a reason for the delay. Regarding price revision, it will be decided by the government,” he said.
The State government is implementing the scheme with 60% funds from central government.
The scheme provides 100% subsidy to small and medium scale farmers and 75% subsidy for large scale farmers for the effective usage of water using micro-irrigation system. The limit of subsidy is determined by the government on crop basis.
An operator from the private engineering firm said that the present rate offered by the government was fixed before 6 years ago. As the price could not be matched over the present inflation, they are demanding that the government should revise the cost.