RAMANATHAPURAM: The agriculture department has reported a decline in the registration of crop insurance this year. Citing a dip of around 17,000 hectares from last year, officials said this could be caused due to sufficient rainfall this year, which has also resulted in the irrigation tanks crossing 60% of their storage levels.
In the previous year, as many as 98,350 hectares of samba crops failed due to lack of proper irrigation. The state government then decided to compensate for the farmers' losses in October this year. Following the commencement of the monsoon, farmers across the district started sowing work. According to the agriculture department, samba paddy was cultivated on a total of 1.27 lakh hectares of land in the district.
Last year, a total of 1.2 lakh hectares of land, out of a total of 1.35 lakh hectares, were registered for crop insurance cover. This year, however, only 1.02 lakh hectares have been registered so far, which is expected to go up to 1.03 lakh hectares by the end of the day, said officials. This is despite the extension of the deadline to register samba crop to November 22.
Farmers said that they have high hopes of successfully finishing off this season, and thus refrained from registering for crop insurance this year. Contrary to the irrigation woes last year, the farmers said incessant rains in the district have increased water levels in water bodies by 50% to 60%, which can be used for agricultural purposes. Accordingly, official sources said 1,504 cusecs of water is likely to be released from the Vaigai River to Parthibanur barrage and to the district this week.