A weak south west monsoon in Tamil Nadu has caused drastic reduction in the area of cultivation during the kharif season to 7.26 lakh hectares from 19.28 lakh hectares during last year.
Eighteen districts reported more than 50 per cent deficit of rainfall, including the delta districts of Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur, an official press release said on Saturday.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has ordered a 50 per cent subsidy to farmers who used pump sets for irrigation.
The subsidy would be Rs 15 per litre of diesel, subject to the maximum of Rs 1000 per hectare, the release said. The subsidy would cost the exchequer Rs 15 crore.
Mettur reservoir was opened for irrigation on July 28 to save the standing crops in 79,800 hectares in the Cauvery delta area and to enable farmers raise the long term Samba paddy crop, it added.