Farmers from different villages staged a demonstration in front of Anna statue at Chathiram bus stand here on Monday urging the Centre and the State government to immediately write off the farm loans. They came with crops that had withered away due to lack of water.

P. Viswanathan, State president of Tamizhaga tanks and rivers ayacutdar association, who led the agitation, said that the State government should immediately announce a compensation of Rs. 20,000 an acre to farmers from rain-fed belts who had incurred huge loss this season.

G. Jayaraman, district president, said that all major food and cash crops had failed this season. The Central government should initiate measures for linking rivers, as a lasting solution to the problem caused by failure of monsoon.

As an interim measure, the State government should supply fertilizer and pesticides free of cost to the farmers.