In July 65.92 mm of rainfall recorded

Samba paddy coverage is expected to exceed the normal area in the district this year although the kuruvai area had come down by more than 50 per cent of the normal owing to the drought condition.

Samba paddy is expected to be cultivated in about 92,250 acres in the district, up by 5,000 acres over the normal area of 87,250 acres. Kuruvai paddy has been cultivated in the district in about 8,050 acres against the normal area of about 16,000 acres.

District officials are hopeful of a bountiful samba season and are gearing up to meet the requirements of farmers as the government has announced the opening of the Mettur Dam on August 2.

Collector Jayashree Muralidharan convened a meeting with officials of the Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering, Cooperatives, and Public Works Departments on Tuesday to discuss the preparatory arrangements to be made for the season.

The State government has also deputed officers in the rank of deputy directors of agriculture to delta districts to ensure that seeds and other inputs for farmers are available in time. K.Parasuraman, Deputy Director of Agriculture, also attended the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms.Muralidharan said the district had received just 65.92 mm of rainfall till the end of July this year against the normal of 209.4 mm for the period. Certified seeds have been stocked in all agricultural extension centres and primary agricultural cooperative societies in the district, apart from private retailers.

About 469 tonnes of seeds of medium term varieties such as BBT5204, improved white ponni, Ko-43, Ambai-19, and Aduthurai 39 were available in the agricultural extension centres.

System of rice intensification will be promoted in a big way as in the past few years and the technique will be adopted in about 56,000 acres of the total samba area, she said and expressed confidence of achieving the paddy production target of 2.595 lakh tonnes set by the government for the district this year.

The Agriculture department has also collected all relevant basic information of 1.48 lakh out of the 2.93 lakh farmers in the district under the farm crop management system and the farmers have been provided field specific recommendations. The data was also available online.

The Public Works Department was currently engaged in clearing the silt for a stretch of about 65.2 km on 12 canals in the district including the Kattuputhur, Vadakarai, Srirangam Nattu, Pudukattalai and Panguni canals, she said.

Gururaj Singh, Joint director of Agriculture, and G.Rajendra Prasad, Joint Registrar of Cooperatives, and Chandrasekaran, Deputy Director of Agriculture (Central Schemes), attended the meeting.

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A control room has been established at the office of the Joint Director of Agriculture in Tiruchi to monitor whether seeds and fertilizers are sold at stipulated prices.

Complaints, if any regarding availability and price, can be lodged with the officials.