Coastal delta farmers urge TN govt to stock up on harvesters

Demand for government machines IS usually higher because of the low rentals, at Rs 1,880 for a track model and Rs 1,160 for a wheel model.

Published: 13th January 2023 05:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2023 05:32 AM   |  A+A-

A harvester machine reaping crop near Kilvelur in Nagapattinam district | Express

Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM:  Farmers along the coastal delta districts have called upon the state government to provide adequate harvester machines to meet the requirements of the harvest season. With samba and thaladi crops in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai due for harvest this month, demand for harvester machines has soared.

Demand for government machines IS usually higher because of the low rentals, at Rs 1,880 for a track model and Rs 1,160 for a wheel model. But with only three wheel models and no track models in Mayiladuthurai and two wheel models and a track model in Nagapattinam, the supply cannot meet the demand. "The government must bring in more machines, particularly wheel models from non-delta districts to meet the shortage in the coastal delta.

There's a greater demand for wheel models to reap in the rain-affected areas," said R Rajasekar, a farmer representative from Mayiladuthurai. Officials from the agricultural engineering department remarked that it was unlikely that they could bring machines from non-delta districts. "Every district needs machines for their use at this period. So, it is difficult to ask those districts," said an official from Mayiladuthurai.

They added many of the machines they had had already become obsolete. G Guru Gopiganesan, another farmer-representative from Mayiladuthurai said, "If there is demand for machines across the state, then the government must buy new machines or bring them from other states." Meetings were recently convened at collectorates involving stakeholders like farmer representatives, private machine owners, and officials of agricultural engineering. After an agreement between the three sides, rental prices were determined.

The track model is capped at Rs 2,450 in Mayiladuthurai and Rs 2,400 in Nagapattinam. The wheel model is capped at Rs 1,750 in Mayiladuthurai and Rs 1,700 in Nagapattinam. Track models are in bigger demand compared to wheel models. The crops have become lodged, and the fields are wet and muddy. The farmers are unable to deploy the wheel models in such conditions and opt for track models that can move more freely through damp fields. Farmers are wary that private agencies would charge more for private harvesters despite being capped. M Prakash, a farmer representative from Nagapattinam said, "It is high time the government encourages farmers to buy their machines by providing good subsidies."


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