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Updated: February 11, 2013 11:06 IST

Poor rainfall: district officials estimate crop losses for farmers

V. S. Palaniappan
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Estimate could range from Rs. 12 crore to Rs. 15 crore

Even as the Chief Minister has announced relief for farmers in delta administration, the official machinery in Coimbatore district has almost concluded that the loss to farmers on account of very poor rainfall during the South West and North East monsoons should be anywhere between Rs. 12 crore to Rs. 15 crore. The average loss of food grains is expected to be around 1,200 tonnes.

An announcement from the Chief Minister on the quantum of relief for farmers in non-delta districts is expected any moment.

The State Government has a norm to provide relief for farmers in the wake of the crop loss exceeding 50 per cent and rainfall deficit ranging over 40 per cent.

Coimbatore district has witnessed a deficit rainfall of 38 per cent which is just two per cent away from the Government fixed norm of 40 per cent.

Sources said that there had been extensive loss for the farmers who had coconut crop, maize and small crops and horticulture crops, paddy in Thondamuthur and Anaimalai blocks, cereals, dhal and groundnuts.

The paddy farmers in Anaimalai heaved a sigh of relief because of some water having been provided from the Aliyar river.

Maize and small crops coverage which used to be over 95,000 acres, this time came down to 67,500 acres, of which crops in 14,750 acres withered for want of water.

Even the horticulture crops over 85,000 acres witnessed substantial loss owing to inadequate water.

Paddy

In terms of paddy crops, crops in 125 acres out of the 375 acres had withered. With regard to cereals and dhal, of the 22,500 acres, crops in 6,500 acres had withered.

With regard to groundnuts and other oil seeds that used to be cultivated in about 20,000 acres, this year saw cultivation in only 12,500 acres. Crops in more than 1,500 acres had withered.

The area under specific crops came down and even a portion of that withered because of inadequate rainfall. Both the South West and North West monsoon proved to be inadequate this time (see graphics).

Having completed the assessment of crop loss in delta districts and having announced compensation, the compilation of crop loss from other non-delta districts is likely to be taken up for consideration for provision of relief now, officials said.

With the Chief Minister having declared all the districts excepting Chennai as drought-hit, farmers could anticipate some compensation and pin hopes on the South West monsoon expected to set in by May end, officials said.

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