Mettur dam will soon be opened for samba cultivation, said M.S.Shanmugham, District Collector here on Friday.

Speaking at the monthly farmers grievances day meeting, the Collector appealed to the farmers to use water and electric power efficiently. He advised them to go for System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of paddy cultivation to save water and optimise yield. He said that desilting works taken up at Rs. 3.73 crores in Cauvery, Vennar and Grand Anicut canal systems have been completed. A total of 153 works were taken up and desilting was completed to a distance of 392 kms Small repairs and masonry work will be completed before release of water from the dam.

There is adequate stock of samba paddy seeds with the agriculture department. There is a stock of 1127 tonnes of paddy seeds available at the agriculture extension centres and depots. The varieties available are Savithiri (CR-1009), Co 43, ADT38, ADT39 and ADT46. A subsidy of Rs. five per kilo is given. With respect to fertilisers, there is a stock of 6920 tonnes of Urea, 2694 tonnes of Di-Ammonium Phosphate, 2638 tonnes of Potash and 1452 tonnes of complex.

Co-operative credit societies in the district have planned to disburse Rs. 45.71crores as crop loan. Out of this Rs.18 crore has been disbursed. Nationalised banks have planned to disburse agriculture loans to the tune of Rs. 820 crore. Electric power supply is also given to agriculture pumpsets for 15 hours, the Collector said.

With respect to Kuruvai crop, it was planned to raise the crop in pumpset irrigated areas ie on 25,000 hectares. Transplantation has been completed on 13,180 hectares. Of this cultivation has been done under the SRI method on 8,164 hectares, the collector said.

Farmers at the meeting demanded early opening of the Mettur dam.

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