The Coordination Committee of All Farmers Associations in Tamil Nadu has urged the State government to refrain from shedding its responsibility on the issue of ‘kuruvai’ paddy procurement by passing the buck to the Centre.
Talking to reporters at Maavur on Tuesday, committee president P. R. Pandian claimed that ‘kuruvai’ paddy raised in about 1 lakh acres in delta districts was affected in the recent rain. The produce harvested earlier amid unpredictable weather conditions were rejected at direct purchase centres set up by Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, citing Central guidelines for procurement of paddy.
Stating that TNCSC had, unlike the last season, opened DPCs at places where permanent storage facilities already existed. Farmers had delayed harvesting the crop in order to wait until they could get space near the DPCs to store their produce.
Holding the State government responsible for the farmers’ predicament, the committee president said the onus was on the administration to have approached the Centre and obtained its consent beforehand for procurement of paddy with higher moisture content.
Further, the non-extension of State-sponsored insurance cover for ‘kuruvai’ crop this season also compounded the problem for the farmers. Thus, in the absence of insurance cover, the State government should declare crop loss compensation of ₹35,000 per acre for the affected farmers without fail, he added.
While the committee expected a favourable announcement from the State government on the issue, it had also planned to organise demonstrations near the Collectorates in delta districts on October 3 in case the farmers’ plea was not considered.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Farmers Associations in Cauvery Delta Districts has suggested that ‘kuruvai’ paddy be procured directly from the fields through mobile DPCs after identifying the cultivators with 10 acres or above.
This would help prevent long wait for small and medium farmers to measure their paddy at the DPCs. More importantly, the introduction of mobile procurement would result in prevention of exposure of paddy grains stocked near the DPCs to rain, said federation general secretary Arupathi P. Kalyanam.