TIRUCHY: Farmers in the district, who were kept on their toes following heavy rainfall alert for delta districts over the weekend, sped up harvesting works to cover as many as 2,000 hectares of paddy cultivation, which is twice the normal pace, officials said. No rainfall was, however, recorded in Tiruchy during the period.
Being one of the largest cultivation seasons, more than 51,000 hectares were covered under Samba/Thaladi in the district, of which more than 70 per cent of the acreage has completed harvesting. A few places like Lalgudi and Pullambadi have, however, just commenced harvesting.
Following the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing heavy rainfall alert for the delta districts, including Tiruchy, over the weekend, the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department advised farmers who are yet to harvest their Samba/Thaladi crops to fasten the process or to take precautionary measures. Fearing crop damage, farmers were kept on their toes.
"As we kicked off the season only by November following the end of Kuruvai season, our Thaladi crops are just reaching maturing stages. Recalling the devastation rainfall had caused during the 2021 harvest season, the current rain alert has been giving us sleepless nights for the past couple of days. The rains would have damaged the crop, or extended the season even further. In order to avert difficulties, several farmers in our area have speeded up harvesting," said Senthil, a farmer from Lalgudi.
While bold varieties are being kept aside to be sold to direct purchase centres (DPCs), farmers who have cultivated finer varieties have sold it in the open market at lower prices of around `1,100 per 60 kg bag, he added.
Sugumar, an Agriculture department official from Lalgudi, told TNIE, "Following the rain alert, instead of taking precautionary measures farmers paced off harvest works in Lalgudi and Pullambadi. Over the past two days cultivation over more than 2000 hectares has been harvested in Lalgudi and Pullambadi, which is twice as fast the pace on normal days. More farmers are speeding up the harvest process before any rains. As most of the areas have completed harvest works, more harvester machines are available for rent. Thus, nearly four to five machines on average are carrying out harvesting in the same area simultaneously. The whole process in Tiruchy is expected to be completed within the next 10 days."
When contacted, senior officials from the civil supplies department stated that following the rain alert farmers at large are compelling DPC workers to take their paddy without delaying further. The department has opened 33 DPCs in Lalgudi and Pullambadi blocks, of which 18 were opened following farmers’ requests over the rain alert. Over the past two days nearly 2,100 metric tonnes of paddy have been procured by the DPCs. Steps are being taken towards faster procurement and movement of paddy from the centres, they added. The department has advised those farmers who have stored their paddy outside the centres while awaiting their turn, to take measures to safeguard it from rainfall damage.