Farmers staged a walk out from the monthly grievances day meeting held here on Friday expressing dissatisfaction over the announcement of Rs. 1,550 per tonne by the State government for sugarcane and demanding a payment of Rs. 2,000 per tonne.

S. Ramanathan, President of Cane Growers Association, Arignar Anna Sugar Mills, Kurunkulam near Thanjavur said the price announced by the government was inclusive of vehicle rent used to carry the cane. If it is subtracted it comes to only Rs. 1,460. "We have been demanding Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,500 per tonne. Agriculture minister Veerapandi S.Arumugam assured that the hike will be around Rs. 2,000 when he visited Thanjavur. So we urge the government to announce Rs. 2,000 per tonne for sugarcane," Ramanathan said.

Thanjavur district collector M.S. Shanmugham presided over the meeting. He said the Kuruvai harvest has begun in the district. Out of 22,458 hectares covered under Kuruvai, harvest has been completed on 9,375 hectares. Average yield is 5,400 kilos per hectare. Under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of cultivation the yield is around Rs. 7,800 kilos per hectare.

Samba transplantation has been completed on 9500 hectares. It is expected that 70 per cent of the transplantation may be completed by October 10. It has been planned to raise samba under SRI method of cultivation on 55,700 hectares and transplantation has been completed on 750 hectares. The water level at Mettur dam stood at 100 ft and the discharge from the dam was 20,000 cusecs. Adequate quantity of water is released into the Cauvery, Vennar and Grand Anaicut canal.

Insurance compensation for the crops affected by Nisha cyclone last year is being paid through co-operative and nationalised banks in the district.

The state owned Arignar Anna Sugar Mills at Kurunkulam near Thanjavur crushed cane for the year 2008-09 from November 29, 2008 to May 27, 2009. A sum of Rs. 43.12 crore has been disbursed to farmers for the 3,85,780 tonnes of cane crushed during this period. Cane has been registered on 10,914 hectares for this year planting season.

M. Karunakaran, District Revenue Officer and Sadasivam, Superintending Engineer, PWD and other officials participated in the meeting.

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