The exclusive grievances redressal meeting organised by district administration for farmers here on Friday has provided a platform for agrarian community to raise their demands for disbursal of crop loans entirely in cash and relief to offset losses suffered due to drought-like conditions, among others.

C. Manoharan, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vyavasayigal Sangam, said the district administration should take necessary steps to ensure allocation of compensation to all farmers in the district without leaving anyone from the package since the district uniformly witnessed the worst ‘drought-like conditions’ in the last one decade.

“The relief should be given at the rate of Rs. 15,000 per acre in the case of losses caused to the standing crops and Rs. 10,000 to the farmers who could not even go for sowing because of the inadequate availability of water for irrigation.

“This year, the dry spell in the district has been much worse than what experienced in delta districts,” he pointed out. On the requisition from small and marginal farmers for disbursal of crop loans issued by Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Societies (PACCSs) fully in cash, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies S. Babu had clarified that the existing provisions did not allow such pay out of credit.

As per the norms, only 52 per cent of the total loan sought could be given in cash.

Of the remaining portion in the loan value sought by the farmers, as much as 22 percent of the amount would be utilized by PACCSs to procure and distribute fertilizers and 16 per cent for giving away pesticides and seeds to the borrowers (ie. farmers), Mr. Babu said.

Another major requisition from the farming sector was the need to carry out desiltation in reservoirs like Thirumoorthy Dam to augment the water holding capacity.

Need to replace the worn-out micro irrigation gadgets in the command areas of Upparu irrigation system was also raised by the farmers.

Collector G. Govindaraj, Joint Director of Agriculture M.K.Sherif and District Revenue Officer R. Gajalakshmi were present to answer the farmers’ queries.