Paddy harvesting begins in double crop area in Madurai district

Paddy being harvested at Kulamangalam in Madurai district on Friday.  

As harvesting of paddy began in the double crop area in Madurai district, farmers have appealed to the district administration to open direct purchase centres at the earliest to prevent traders exploiting them.

Amidst intermittent rain in the last few days, the farmers have started harvesting the paddy using harvesting machinery.

Water was released on June 4 from Vaigai dam for irrigating 45,000 acres of ayacut in Madurai and Dindigul districts.

However, with a good storage of water in both Periyar and Vaigai dams, farmers who were confident of timely release of water for irrigation, pre-empted water release and started to raise nurseries with well water.

“Nurseries were raised at least 10 to 20 days prior to water release with the help of lift irrigation,” said M. Tirupathi, a farmer from Kulamangalam. As a result, harvesting in many fields began on Wednesday.

Farmers complained of exploitation by traders who were buying the paddy for a lesser price. “While one quintal of paddy will fetch us around ₹ 1,200, traders were buying it for ₹ 800 to ₹ 900, exploiting the fact that DPCs have not been opened,” he added.

He said that farmers who have already spent huge money or borrowed money for their farming works want to sell their produce at the earliest. Farmers feel that they cannot afford additional expenditure involved in loading, unloading and transporting them again from home to DPC later.

Besides, they do not have the facility to stock the paddy bags safely since it was raining now and then.

“Moisture content is another issue the farmers face especially with the first crop. Since, the weather turns wet during the harvest, the moisture content is high and drying the paddy under the sun is ruled out,” said another farmer Bharatha Ramachandran (41) of Velichanatham.

He suggested that the officials should provide mobile drier units to the farmers either through Farmers Producers Organisation or through societies. The drier will help farmers sell their produce at the earliest.

“The transporting and manpower cost will double if the paddy is taken from field to home and then from home to DPC,” Mr. Tirupathi said.

The traders who buy paddy now at a lower cost would sell it at DPC at a higher price and make quick money at the cost of farmers’ profit.

“We need more money immediately as we have to start the sowing the second crop within the next few days, “ Mr. Tirupathi said.

Joint Director of Agriculture T. Vivekanandan said that the issue had already been flagged and the DPCs would be opened as and when government notification is issued.

“Since farmers have been already asked to register themselves with societies with all documents like patta, chitta and adangal, misuse of DPCs by traders is ruled out,” he added.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:38:06 AM |

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