Rain-hit farmers in Mayiladuthurai demand TN government release immediate relief
The crops would be in the seedling stage by the time of paddy harvesting. After harvesting the paddy, the budding pulse crops continue to grow.
MAYILADUTHURAI: Apprehensive of another iteration of pulse cultivation impacting kuruvai prospects, farmers in the coastal delta region who suffered crop loss in the unseasonal rain last month demand immediate disbursement of the relief announced by the state government for the legumes.
The cultivation of pulses such as black gram and green gram over thousands of hectares in Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts were damaged in the seedling stage itself during the unseasonal rains in early February. Many of them had taken up their cultivation in the same fields where they sowed paddy.
Farmers usually sow the pulse seeds in the waxy soil conditions in the paddy fields two weeks ahead of the latter's harvest. The crops would be in the seedling stage by the time of paddy harvesting. After harvesting the paddy, the budding pulse crops continue to grow.
The state government announced a relief of Rs 3,000 per hectare for pulses damaged in the early stages following the rain. Ramalingam, a farmer from Ivanallur in Mayiladuthurai, said, "Firstly, the announced relief amount of Rs 3,000 will not compensate for the losses incurred to pulse cultivation.
Re-cultivating the pulses would lead to an unprecedented delay in commencing kuruvai paddy cultivation scheduled for April. So, we request the government to release the relief immediately." A section of farmers further claimed that the relief amount was announced despite no official survey having been undertaken.
J Sekar, the joint director of the agriculture department in Mayiladuthurai, said, "The extent of damage has been assessed. Crop damage relief will be disbursed in phases." J Akhandarao, his counterpart in Nagapattinam, said, "Relief will be handed out in a matter of two weeks."