Growers seek better attention from State for their welfare
It is not only the regular crops such as paddy, sugarcane, cotton and maize that are withering in Ariyalur district but also cashew, which is the backbone of the district’s economy. The district has over 34,000 hectares under cashew and thousands of farmers are dependent on the crop.
K. Jayachandran, a cashew farmer from Aandimadam, at the agriculturists’ grievances meeting on Friday, pointed out that there were 33,000 cashew orchards in the district, one of the highest in the State. He wanted the State government to accord better attention to their welfare as they determine the economy of the district. “We get only three hours of three-phase power supply, that too only during the day. An equal duration of power supply should be ensured at night too,” he pleaded.
R. Ulaganathan of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam also lamented that even cashew crops were withering in the district due to drought.
Pichapillai, another farmer, warned that the district might have to face serious drinking water problem if the current situation were to continue. “Water problem has already been noticed in the villages,” he added. He also pleaded for remunerative price for maize, one of the major crops of the district.
Several farmers demanded deepening and clearing of silt in water sources in the district, especially Pullampadi Canal, Karaivetti Eri, and Sukran Eri, as that alone would be able to help conserve water during rainy season. Though as much as Rs.1 crore was spent on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural employment Guarantee Scheme works in a block, not a single water source had been deepened, they alleged.
At the same time, they wanted the district administration to take care of the combined drinking water schemes benefiting the district, especially from the Kollidam.(Thirumanur, Nadhiyanur and Thirumalapadi schemes are serving the district).