The Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association has appealed to the State government to hike the procurement price of paddy to Rs.2, 500 a quintal for the kuruvai and samba seasons this year.

For farmers who had raised paddy during the kuruvai season, the recent rain came as a bane as the crop was in advanced stage in the district. Some fields were inundated and the yield could be affected by up to 50 per cent.

Given the drop in yield, rise in input costs and shortage of labour, the government should hike the procurement price from Rs.1,440 to Rs.2,500 a quintal, said G. Kanagasabai, president of the association, speaking at the farmers’ grievances day here on Friday.

He also urged the district administration to take steps remove encroachments and silt from tanks and irrigation channels in the district.

R. Subramanian, deputy secretary of the association, urged the Public Works Department to ensure that adequate quantity of water was released in the irrigation canals in Tiruchi and Karur district from the Cauvery River at Mayanur. Whenever there was rain in the core delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, the discharge from Mettur Reservoir was reduced and due to this practice, farmers dependent on the irrigation canals in the Tiruchi and Karur district were deprived of water.

P. Ayyakannu, State vice president, Bharathiya Kisan Sangam, charged that some of the commercial banks were using agents to seize tractors of farmers who had defaulted on loans and urged the district administration to stop such measures.

R. Raja Chidambaram said BT cotton crop raised in Pullampadi union in the district have been affected by verticillium wilt disease and urged the district administration to direct experts to conduct a study and recommend remedial measures.