Area of cultivation shrinks from 45,000 hectares to 21,500

Kuruvai harvest in pumpset irrigated areas has begun in Thanjavur district. Kuruvai was raised only in pumpset irrigated fields in the district this year as Mettur dam could not be opened on the traditional date – June 12.

Because of this, kuruvai cultivation has reduced to 21,500 hectares from the usual 45,000 hectares.

Of the cultivated area, harvest has been completed in 4,000 hectares so far in the district.

"Those who raised kuruvai early are now harvesting. Yield is good with 6 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare," said Mohammed Yahiya, Joint Director of Agriculture, Thanjavur district.

Harvest has commenced in Thiruppanandal, Kumbakonam, and Thiruvidaimaruthur areas and in parts of Orathanadu and Thanjavur blocks.

Though Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) is yet to open direct purchase centres, farmers are getting a good price for their crop in the open market. As there is considerable demand for rice in the State, private parties are purchasing paddy directly from the field.

Farmers are pinning their hopes on the samba crop as the government has announced that water will be released for samba on Monday.

With inflow at 11,287 cusecs and discharge at 2, 000 cusecs water level in Mettur dam stood at 83.66 ft on Sunday.

As per the samba package announced by the government, farmers have been advised to go in for direct sowing in some areas, raising of community nurseries in fields with borewells for supplying to needy farmers, and raising paddy under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method.

It has been planned to raise samba crop under the SRI technique in 24,000 hectares in 84 villages. Community nurseries will be raised in 2,500 acres.

Farmers have already taken up direct sowing at many places in the district.