Tamil Nadu

Multi-crop thrasher introduced to make farmers shift to millet cultivation

It could thrash 1,000 kg of barnyard millet, 600 kg of sorghum in an hour

RAMANATHAPURAM

Seeking to encourage farmers to switch over to millet cultivation instead of relying on paddy in the rain-starved district, Collector S. Natarajan introduced a ‘multi-crop thrasher’ to millet farmers for easy thrashing of all grains.

Finding that farmers were desisting from cultivating millets such as kuthiraivali (barnyard millet), saamai (little millet), sorghum, kezhvaragu (finger millet), kambu (bajra) and varagu (kodo millet) as thrashing was a major problem, the district administration provided the ‘multi-crop thrasher’ to a cluster of farmers in Kamudhi block.

On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture demonstrated the functioning of the thrasher to farmers, who came to attend the monthly farmers’ grievance redressal meeting here. Inspecting the demonstration, the Collector exhorted the farmers to shift to cultivation of millets, which required less water and ideally suited for the arid district.

As the northeast monsoon failed again this year, the farmers should think twice before cultivating paddy and losing the crop for want of water, he said. A group of farmers in Kamudhi block had demonstrated the wisdom of cultivating millets, especially the drought-resistant barnyard millet, he said.

Farmers, who cultivated millets and thrashed them on public roads, did not have to worry about thrashing any more as agriculture department would help them with the multi-crop thrasher. They could thrash 1,000 kg of barnyard millet and 600 kg of sorghum in an hour using the machine and it would cost only two litres of diesel for an hour, he said.

The tractor-operated thrasher, costing ₹11 lakh, was given to the cluster of farmers with subsidy of ₹8 lakh, he said, adding barnyard millet was the ideal crop for 100% rain-fed areas.

Later, addressing the farmers’ grievance meeting, Mr. Natarajan said 1.08 lakh of the 1.19 lakh farmers who had insured their paddy crop during 2016-17 and suffered 100% loss due to drought were given compensation totalling ₹493 crore. Farmers who were yet to get crop insurance in 13 revenue villages would be given the amount in a week and those in 11 other villages within a month, he said.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 3:02:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/multi-crop-thrasher-introduced-to-make-farmers-shift-to-millet-cultivation-ramanathapuram/article22319553.ece

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