The Consortium of Indian Farmers’ Associations has appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to extend the “special package” to all farmers in the State without any discrimination, according to R. Vridhagiri, president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the consortium.
In a representation addressed to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, he said that the consortium welcomed the special package announced by her for mitigating the sufferings of farmers in the delta region.
However, it was the common knowledge that farmers in the entire State were affected by failure of successive monsoons that not only depleted surface water but also dried up sub-surface water. He noted that the delta region was raising mainly two coarse varieties of paddy - CR-1009 and TKM-9, which were sought-after varieties in Kerala and for making idlis. Whereas, farmers in the rest of the State were growing fine varieties of paddy (the staple food of the State) and also other crops such as banana, sugarcane, coconut and millets.
The Chief Minister had come out with the package announcing a compensation of Rs 13,000 per acre and also crop insurance coverage to delta farmers. Recently, a group of Ministers also visited the delta region, including Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, to gain firsthand knowledge of the sufferings of farmers.
But, the group skipped the tail-end delta region, including Kattumannarkoil and Chidambaram taluks which were also badly affected. According to Mr. Vridhagiri, farmers in the non-delta region deserved better treatment. While delta farmers were assured of 12-hour power supply to their farms, their counterparts in the non-delta region were getting hardly three-hour supply.