Special Correspondent

Relief for farmers after crops hit by Fall Armyworm

₹186.25 crore under SDRF to benefit cultivators in 17 districts

Updated - July 05, 2019 06:41 pm IST

Published - July 05, 2019 12:42 am IST - CHENNAI

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami

With 62% of the maize cultivation across Tamil Nadu under attack from the Fall Armyworm, an invasive pest, since last year, the State government on Thursday announced relief to the tune of ₹186.25 crore under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to benefit farmers.

Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said that of the 3.55 lakh hectare in which maize was cultivated, about 2,20,986 hectare had been hit by the pest, despite all precautionary measures. The relief was to benefit farmers in 17 districts, he said.

While the relief to irrigated crops would be Rs.13,500 per hectare, it would be Rs. 7,410 per hectare for rain-fed crops, he said.

Over 80% of maize farmers are small farmers and the crop forms a significant portion of the State’s food production.

The crop is cultivated mainly in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Tiruchi, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Theni districts.

Due to changing climatic conditions, the Fall Armyworm, which hit the Americas had spread to Africa in 2016, and was later reported in India in 2018.

“The pest has also hit neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and Cambodia,” he pointed out.

The pest started affecting maize cultivation in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and in Tamil Nadu since 2018 and has spread swiftly and resulted in major loss to farmers.

Revised guidelines

Though earlier guidelines did not provide for relief to maize farmers under the SDRF, Mr. Palaniswami said he ordered for revision in the guidelines to benefit the maize farmers.

He also called upon farmers to insure their crops to protect themselves financially against natural disasters.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.