Apart from seeds, we need more support from TN government as well: Traditional paddy farmers
However, farmers have said that they need more support from the government in the form of direct procurement centres and machinery to carry out traditional paddy farming.
Published: 30th September 2022 04:29 AM | Last Updated: 30th September 2022 04:29 AM | A+A A-
TIRUCHY: The agriculture department has set itself a target of distributing 12,645 kg of traditional paddy variety seeds with subsidy to farmers in Tiruchy district this year and has achieved 80% target, as part of the Nel Jeyaraman Scheme.
However, farmers have said that they need more support from the government in the form of direct procurement centres and machinery to carry out traditional paddy farming. D Mohan, an organic farmer who has been cultivating traditional paddy for more than three years, said, "The major problem is that DPCs do not procure traditional paddy. That itself is a blow to farmers.
The DPCs don't procure even Mapplilai Samba, Karuppu Kowni, which are popular traditional varieties and have a good name in the market. The government expecting an organic farmer to cultivate and market his crop all on his own is unfair." S Stephen Kennedy, a traditional paddy cultivator for more than five years, said, "We cultivate organic, traditional paddy because we believe in it as a philosophy.
The government encourages traditional paddy. But, as regards infrastructure support, we receive nothing. To harvest traditional paddy varieties, we need specific machinery. Labour charges are high compared to normal paddy. We need a support system on the side of technology to help in cultivation." A senior official from the agriculture department said,
"This is a good scheme and we encourage farmers by providing them seeds on subsidy, apart from conducting workshops. However, the market is not very big as only limited people prefer such varieties. We have submitted proposals to TNCSC to include traditional paddy varieties in its procurement list." When contacted, a state official from TNCSC said,
"This is a new scheme and this is the first time the government is promoting traditional variety of seeds. Officials from the agriculture department have have to highlight it's significance to our civil supplies department. It has to be noted that procurement is decided by the Union government, and therefore, the state should make an appeal to the Centre for including such varieties in the list."