About 14,000 tonnes of paddy has been procured from farmers in Tiruchi district so far by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation even as harvest of the samba paddy crop in the district is expected to be completed within the next couple of weeks.
Paddy has been raised in about 45,000 hectares (ha) in the district, including 37,000 ha in the canal irrigated delta areas of the district. Sources in the Agriculture Department said crops in only about 12,000 ha are to be harvested yet and the entire harvest would be completed soon. Sources in the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation said the target for procurement for the Kharif Marketing season (October – September) was 40,000 tonnes. Although only 14,000 tonnes have been procured so far, an officer of the TNCSC expressed confidence that the target will be achieved. “Except for farmers who had raised Andhra ponni, which fetches a better rate over the government procurement price in the open market, others are opting to sell their produce to TNCSC,” he said.
Although about 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes is normally procured during a Kharif Marketing Season in the district, just 3,000 tonnes were procured last year owing to the drought conditions.
Farmers in the district have reported a normal yield. “The yield in our area ranged between 35 and 45 bags (60 kg each) an acre,” said A.Nagarajan, president, Horticulture Crop Producers Association. P.Ayyakannu, State vice president, Bharathiya Kisan Sangam, however pointed out that the average yield was around 40 bags only in the canal-irrigated delta areas of the district and not in the non-delta areas where the crops were affected due to absence of rain.
Many farmers in rain-fed areas did not even go for the crop for want of water, he said. Close on harvesting the paddy, farmers in some parts of the district have gone in for rice fallow pulses, mainly blackgram.