CHENNAI: The State has achieved record average productivity of 7.7 tonnes per hectare in the kuruvai season with reports of individual farmers harvesting 9 to 12 tonne per hectare.
Normally, average productivity in the State is around 6 tonnes per hectare. This record productivity of more than 7 tonnes per hectare was possible due to timely supply of water from reservoirs, adoption of system rice intensification (SRI) technique, and adequate availability of fertilizer. Even in delta districts, where productivity is normally around 5 to 6 tonne per hectare, this time it is more than 8 tonnes in many places. At Mannachanallur in Tiruchi district two farmers harvested 10 and 12 tonnes each. Another farmer in Tiruvarur district recorded 11.24 tonne per hectare. But, due to poor productivity in Nagapattinam district, the average in the delta districts came down to 5.756 tonnes. About 12.63 lakh hectares was brought under kuruvai cultivation in the State in the current year as against 12.46 lakh hectares.
An Agriculture Department official said nearly 75 per cent of kuruvai harvest was over in the State and the balance would be completed before the second week of December. He said in the delta districts, the problem was that farmers believed in over-irrigation, which spoilt the output. They were being educated that controlled irrigation would result in better productivity. This had yielded results this season.
Increase in paddy productivity in the delta districts has been reflected in more procurement of paddy by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation. The Corporation has purchased 2.67-lakh tonnes since October this year. The daily arrival at the 700-odd direct purchase centres is about 1,500 tonnes. At this rate, the Corporation will be able to purchase about three lakh tonnes before the middle of December.