A cross section of farmers of the coastal blocks in the district have sought for compensation for the paddy damaged due to pest attack.

Participating in the monthly farmers’ grievance day meeting held here on Friday, they said that a large number of farmers in the tail-end zones of the district have borne the brunt of sudden pest attack. Since the paddy was nearing harvest stage, no pest control measures could be taken up, they said. They urged the district administration to impress upon the State government to depute a special team for inspecting the damaged fields before taking up any relief measures.

The District Collector, A. Suganthi, said she would look into their grievance. The Collector advised the farmers not to hurl allegations against officials. Replying to an allegation by a few of them that the disbursement of wages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was erratic, the Collector asked the farmers not to hurl allegations against all the officials in general. If at all there was any irregularity in the implementation of the scheme, the farmers were free to bring it to the notice of the exclusive complaint and monitoring cell for the NREGS. Although a special team was keeping a strict vigilin the district, it has not received serious complaints from any quarters so far, she said indicating the scheme was being implemented to the utmost satisfaction of the beneficiaries and the villagers as well.

The Collector said farmers should clearly specify the particular area or official for any slackness in the implementation of the scheme. Necessary steps had been taken to distribute the quality fertilizers through primary agricultural cooperative societies and private outlets. Sufficient quality of fertilizers were also being stocked in the private and cooperative outlets. About 2,913 tonnes of urea, 1,472 tonnes of DAP, 1,519 tonnes of potash fertilizers and 1,542 tonnes of complex fertilizers were stocked for distribution in the district.

The Collector said that last year sugarcane crop was laid out in 90 hectares in five blocks of Pudukottai, Gandarvakottai, Thiruvarungulam, Annavasal and Arantangi under the precision farming method. During the current year, it is proposed to bring 120 hectares under precision farming in sugarcane crop at Karambakudi, Arimalam, Viralimalai, Kunnandarkoil and Annavasal blocks.

J. Raghavan, DRO, B. Krishnasamy, Joint Director of Agriculture, P. Raju, PA to Collector (Agriculture), P. Rasu, Deputy Director of Horticulture participated in the meeting.