Tiruchirapalli

Farming operations pick up in non-delta areas

Joint Director of Agriculture R. Santhanakrishnan inspecting a maize field at Uppilliyapuram block in Tiruchi district on Tuesday.

Joint Director of Agriculture R. Santhanakrishnan inspecting a maize field at Uppilliyapuram block in Tiruchi district on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: hand out

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Recent rainfall has encouraged farmers in Tiruchi district

TIRUCHI

While samba paddy cultivation is going on in full swing in the canal irrigated delta areas of the district, the recent widespread rainfall in the district has encouraged farmers in non-delta areas too to begin farm operations with high hopes this year.

The non delta areas of the district, especially the dry belt of Manapparai and Marungapuri, have received scanty rainfall over the past few years, forcing many farmers to leave their lands fallow. Many of the open wells have also gone dry in recent years in these parts. However, over the past fortnight there has been widespread rainfall in the non delta areas of the district

The rainfall has raised the hopes of farmers and cultivation of sorghum and maize has already picked up in the non-delta areas of the district this year. According to statistics available with the Department of Agriculture, sorghum (cholam) has been raised on about 28,000 hectares (ha) and maize on 9,500 ha till the end of September. “The normal average area under sorghum in the district is about 37,000 ha and we expect the coverage to exceed this figure this year, thanks to the widespread rain. Similarly, we also expect maize to be raised on the normal average of about 11,800 ha,” R.Santhanakrishnan, Joint Director of Agriculture told The Hindu. This apart, pulses such as red gram is also being raised in several non-delta areas.

Although maize growers had sustained heavy losses last year due to the Fall Armyworm pest attack, the situation is largely under control so far this year, Mr.Santhakrishnan said. “The rain has helped as the larvae die in the rain. Besides, we have conducted intensive awareness campaign on the measures to prevent an attack by the pest. We are also keeping a close vigil on the fields and effective control measures are being taken,” Mr.Santhanakrishnan said.

However, the worms have been noticed at a few fields where control measures have been initiated. Besides, applying the prescribed bio control agents and chemical pesticides, farmers have also been used to install pheromone traps in the fields to lure and trap the pests.

Field level officers have been asked to inspect all fields and the situation is monitored on a daily basis. Officers are also required to forward weekly surveillance reports. The pest attack had devastated the crop on over 11,000 ha in the district last year and the affected farmers were given compensation by the state government.

This year, the department has also managed to get an extend the last date for payment of premium for maize crop till November 30 this year. Normally, the deadline for insuring the crop would end by October, he added.

Mr.Santhanakrishnan also disclosed that transplantation of paddy nurseries was going on in many places in the delta areas of the district. Adequate stocks of paddy and fertilizers were available in the district, he said.

However, farmers continue to complain of delays in sanction of crop loans by banks and primary agricultural cooperative societies and practical difficulties in getting the necessary documents, especially copies of the adangal which has to be submitted to the banks or societies to obtain the loans. The issue dominated the proceedings in the farmers grievances meeting last month. Recently, Puliyur A.Nagarajan, president, TMC farmers wing, in a representation to the Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami, alleged that many village administrative officers were refusing to issue the ‘adangals’ (land record with entry of the crop cultivated) and farmers were facing severe financial crunch at a time when farm activities have begun. He urged the Chief Minister to depute IAS officers to monitor sanction of loans and availability of farm inputs and the flow of water for irrigation in canals.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 2:01:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/farm-operations-pick-up-in-non-delta-areas/article29619626.ece

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