Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced a package of measures to provide succour to farmers of the Cauvery delta in the State.

The cost of measures would be around Rs. 69.88 crore, which did not include the amount of compensation to be paid to farmers in the event of crop loss, according to an official release.

An official release issued by Ms. Jayalalithaa stated that if farmers lost the crop even after the government implemented a host of measures, steps would be taken to cover them under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and the revised scheme.

Considering the present extraordinary situation, the government would pay the premium on behalf of the farmers. Through this move, all delta farmers would be provided with crop insurance cover. This would mean an expenditure of about Rs. 30 crore. If crop loss occurred, solatium of Rs. 8,962 per acre would be given under crop insurance schemes. Besides, under the State Disaster Relief Fund, compensation for paddy would go up from Rs. 4,000 per acre to Rs. 5,000. Totally, the farmers would get Rs. 13,692 per acre.

Power supply

Since November 29, three-phase power supply to delta farmers was in vogue for six hours each during day and night. This would continue till February 2013, she said.

A subsidy of Rs. 600 per acre would be given to meet the cost of diesel in respect of 32,000 pump sets. A sum of Rs. 15 crore would be set apart for the purpose.

A cent per cent subsidy would be granted for procuring 180-metre-long high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes that would prevent loss of water conveyed from main canals to agricultural lands. The subsidy would cover 6,000 units at a unit cost of Rs. 20,000. A total of Rs. 12 crore would be sanctioned.

Likewise, 100 per cent subsidy would be given to 6,000 units of low-density polythelene pipes at a cost of Rs. 2,800 per unit. This would mean an allocation of Rs. 1.68 crore.

Three hundred multi-purpose boom sprayers would be given through the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Agriculture Research Station for crops on the verge of withering. A sum of Rs. 1.20 crore would be earmarked. Besides, Rs. three crore would be provided for administration of the scheme. Muriate of Potash (MOP) fertilizer and pink pigmented facultative methylotrop, which could help the crop sustain the dry period of seven to 10 days, would be given. An amount of Rs. four crore would be approved. Five hundred mini-portable sprinklers would be procured at a cost of Rs. 2.25 crore.

Awareness camps would be held to motivate farmers to take innovative methods to save samba crop and Rs. 75 lakh would be provided to organise the camps. Considering water shortage, those agricultural workers who have lost jobs would be accommodated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme, she added. The release also mentioned that while framing its package, the government kept in mind that there were chances for rainfall to occur in December.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister held discussions with senior Ministers and officials to review the situation.