Tamil Nadu

Paddy coverage likely to reach 3.2 lakh hectares

Having achieved a higher paddy coverage so far this kuruvai cultivation season than in the previous year, the Agriculture Department hopes to touch the 3.2 lakh hectare-mark at the end of the season.

About 2.83 lakh hectares has been covered so far, and nursery has been prepared for 1,305 hectares, including 805 hectares in the Cauvery delta region. According to the Department’s calculation, this will help to transplant the crop on 40,000 hectares. Eventually, the delta region is expected to account for 1.54 lakh hectares and the non-delta region 1.65 lakh hectares

If the Department’s plan comes off, this year’s performance will be better than that of 2020, when the coverage was marginally more than three lakh hectares. However, it will be lower than what the State accomplished during 2011 (about 3.36 lakh hectares) and 2015 (approximately 3.24 lakh hectares).

An important factor that has contributed to a greater coverage this time is the availability of water. As on July 20, the combined live storage of 15 major reservoirs in the State was around 104 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), equivalent to 52% of the total capacity. Unlike in the previous years, water is released from many of the reservoirs even during the kuruvai cultivation season, a senior official points out. The moderate rainfall during the northeast monsoon of 2020 and unseasonal heavy rainfall in January this year led to a comfortable position in the groundwater table.

Though the realisation of Tamil Nadu’s share of the Cauvery water so far this month was much lower than the stipulated quantity, the revival of southwest monsoon in the recent days has given a sense of hope to agriculturists and officials alike. The Kabini reservoir, according to information available here, is about 90% of its capacity, and Karnataka officials are expected to release much more in the days to come than what they did.

Till July 15, the cumulative receipt of the Cauvery water for the month was 4.11 tmc ft against the prescribed 15.11, as assessed by the Central Water Commission at Biligundulu on the inter-State border. What the State realised between June 1 and July 15 was about 11.8 tmc ft, a shortfall of 12.5 tmc ft.

One more reason for the optimism of the Agriculture Department is the DMK government’s decision to provide a kuruvai package of ₹61.09 crore to benefit over 2.07 lakh farmers in the delta region. After a gap of three years, the government has unveiled the package, which has motivated more farmers to raise paddy, many agriculturists feel.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:33:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/paddy-coverage-likely-to-reach-32-lakh-hectares/article35436957.ece

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