Overnight rains add to moisture content in harvested kuruvai paddy, dim farmers' prospects

Of the 72,816 hectares under Kuruvai paddy cultivation in the district this year, crop over 67, 816 hectares has been harvested.

Published: 22nd October 2022 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2022 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

Paddy heaps near the Kalimedu direct purchase centre (DPC) affected by the overnight heavy rains that lashed Thanjavur on Thursday | Express

Express News Service

THANJAVUR: The overnight rains that lashed the district on Thursday has left farmers, who wait near direct purchase centres (DPC) with their harvested kuruvai paddy, a worried lot as the downpour has led to a further rise in moisture content in the crop.

With hardly any trace of the sun on Friday, farmers doubt whether they can dry and sell their paddy before Deepavali as procurement norms cap moisture content at 17%, a figure which they hope would be relaxed following a visit by a Central team.

Of the 72,816 hectares under Kuruvai paddy cultivation in the district this year, crop over 67, 816 hectares has been harvested. A significant quantity of the paddy harvested has been stored near DPCs across the district owing to lack of adequate storage facilities for farmers. In this background, all the 21 rain gauge stations in the district recorded rainfall during the 24 hours that ended at 8.30 am on Friday.

This has affected the paddy stored near DPCs. David, a farmer who has been waiting outside the DPC in Kalimedu to sell off his harvested paddy, rued that the moisture content would go up due to the rains on Thursday night. R Sukumaran of Kakkarai said procurement has slowed down in several DPCs. Where 1,000 bags a day were being procured earlier, it is down to 300 bags now, he added.

Meanwhile, farmers owing allegiance to the Tamil Nadu farmers association staged a protest in front of Collectorate on Friday demanding immediate relaxation of moisture content norms for procurement from 17% to 22%. It may be recalled that the Tamil Nadu government had recently urged the Centre to relax moisture content norms for procurement at DPCs considering the unseasonal rains impacting cultivation.

Following this, a team of officials deputed by the Union government a few days ago inspected DPCs in the State, including those in Thanjavur, to assess the veracity of the claims. The protesters also pointed out that farmers in only seven out of 856 villages in the district were sanctioned insurance claims for crop loss during the last Samba season, and demanded to consider all affected farmers in the district. Association district secretary N V Kannan led the protest.



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