The Malai Maavatta Siru Vivasayigal Sangam has urged the government to promote, in a big way, organic farming in the Nilgiris.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Thumboor I.Bhojan, president of the Kotagiri-based sangam, said that the conditions in the district are ideal for organic farming.

Appreciating the government for declaring all the districts except Chennai as drought-affected, he appealed to the government to look into the difficulties being faced by the farming community in this hill-station.

Over the last few years, rainfall has been erratic and the cost of inputs has gone up. While on the one hand the wages of labourers have shot up, on the other, getting them has become a very difficult task.

Shortage

A major contributory factor for the shortage of labour is the 100-day employment scheme.

They are skipping farms and going for road work though the highways department has its own workers.

Regretting that wild animals are adding to the woes of the farmers, he said that protecting crops from raiding gaurs, wild boars and monkeys has become a major challenge for the people in the regiion.

Expressing the hope that the government will compensate farmers whose fields have been raided by the wild animals, he said that a scheme to erect solar fences should be implemented.

Since wild animals have also become a threat to the people, licenses to own weapons should be given.

Farm loans

Farm loans should be waived, it was pointed out. Tree cultivation should be encouraged by simplifying cutting rules.

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