Staff Reporter

Following excess productivity and higher yield

PERAMBALUR: There are no takers for the late `samba' paddy varieties harvested in three blocks in the district following excess productivity and higher yield in Veppanthattai, Veppur and Perambalur blocks.

Private paddy merchants, who are reluctant to purchase the produce, have fixed the price between Rs. 350 and Rs. 375 a bag of 75 kg but the farmers find it not lucrative, and await the price to shoot up to at least the last season's offer of Rs.500.

An official source said about 7,000 hectares of land was brought under the late samba variety in these blocks.

S. Jayaraman, A farmer from Kalarampatti, said the late `samba' season forced many farmers to switch over to short-duration varieties, normally raised during the `kuruvai' season.

The rise in the groundwater table in the post-flood scenario had led to sharp increase in productivity.

Sources said about 35,000 tonnes of paddy was harvested in these blocks and a number of farmers had stocked the produce anticipating some rise in price.

Meanwhile, the subsequent `kuruvai' season posed yet another puzzle to farmers and officials due to timely release of water from the Mettur Stanley Reservoir.

Nurseries have been raised on about 250 hectares indicating that at least 2,500 hectares against the normal 2,000 hectares would be covered under the crop this season.

The Agriculture Department has supplied 22.5 tonnes of various seed varieties including ADT-45, ADT-43 and CO-47.

"In fact, transplantation had been completed on 80 hectares," the sources added.

Officials have been organising pre-monsoon campaigns motivating farmers on integrated plant management techniques. Fertilisers, bio-fertilisers and micronutrients were being supplied. Officials anticipate per hectare yield to rise to seven tonnes this year.