Announcement of kuruvai special package fails to enthuse farmers in delta districts

They say kuruvai paddy is raised on five lakh acres in old delta region and restricting the special package to just one lakh acres was unacceptable

Published - June 14, 2024 08:29 pm IST - THANJAVUR

The ₹78.67-crore Delta Kuruvai Cultivation Special Package announced by the State government has failed to impress the farmers here.

Although a section of the farmers have welcomed the announcement, the cap of one lakh acres for distribution of paddy seeds for cultivation at a subsidised rate has caused concern.

Normally, 5 lakh acres is brought under kuruvai cultivation. Restricting the subsidised rate of paddy seed distribution to one lakh acres was discouraging because in the old Cauvery delta alone kuruvai cultivation would surpass one lakh acres. For instance, in the Papanasam taluk in Thanjavur district which enjoys the additional irrigation facility — the groundwater, kuruvai paddy is cultivated on 30,000 acres. Such being the case, imposing a cap on the area targeted for distribution of subsidised seeds was unwelcome, they lamented.

Expressing his disappointment, G. Sethuraman, president, Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Nala Sangam, Tiruvarur, suggested that the amount earmarked for the distribution of seeds could be utilised for the distribution of nutrition supplements to enhance soil health. Because raising and transplantation of kuruvai in the old delta region had been completed and the crop was now one-and-a-half to two months old, he pointed.

‘It is a farce’

Terming the announcement a farce, P.R. Pandian, president, Tamil Nadu Federation of All Farmers’ Associations, demanded that the State government ensure the realisation of Tamil Nadu’s due share in the Cauvery water. Announcing a “package” when distressed farmers were expecting government support in the form of compensation for the loss they had suffered by taking up summer crop cultivation was unacceptable, he added.

V. Jeevakumar of Budalur, a progressive farmer, stressed that the State government should take steps to get Cauvery river water based on the “distress-sharing formula” as endorsed by the Supreme Court in its verdict.

Though extending a helping hand to farmers was welcome, the need of the hour was to ensure the availability of water, he added.

Welcoming the assistance for enhancement of soil health, G. Srinivasan of Ganapathi Agraharam, a progressive farmer, and N.V. Kannan, Thanjavur District Secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the CPI(M), said the officials should have considered extending subsidy to fertilisers and as well as extending the benefits of the special package to all farmers who had taken up “kuruvai” cultivation.

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