: His name is Maduraisami. He is aged about 60 years. He has not studied much, but the drive and inspiration to achieve in his life have made him bring laurels to his village Porusupatti near Agricultural College here. He has bagged the second prize of Rs.15,000 in the State for achieving a yield of 14,577 kilograms per hectare in paddy crop in the just-ended season.

Mr. Maduraisami and his family members own agricultural lands in the village and have been carrying out the activity in the belt for several decades.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said, “Two years ago, when a handful of officials from the Agriculture Department visited our village and explained the use of mechanisation in raising paddy crops, not many showed interest. But, something hit upon my mind. I did not hesitate. I decided to make an attempt and ventured into the use of machines in my lands,” he recalled. Just one or two other farmers joined me in taking up such a risk. Right from the day one – starting with sowing seeds to the D-day of harvest – only machines that dominated the activity. “I just could not believe the speed with which it performed. The uniform arrangement in which the crop was coming up too baffled me and a few of my well-wishers,” Mr. Maduraisamy said and claimed that he had saved huge sums, which he used to spend to trap the rats earlier.

With water for irrigation flowing into his fields from Kallanthiri canal, he however, expressed concern over the dwindling cultivable area. “From 15,000 hectare 10 years ago, it has fallen to 9,000 ha in Madurai East block. As a progressive farmer, I would appeal to the government to ensure that cultivable lands remained fertile ever and should never be converted into housing plots under the guise of urbanisation.”