Samba coverage in the Cauvery delta down by 1.5 lakh acres this season 

Updated - September 30, 2023 11:50 pm IST

Published - September 30, 2023 11:49 pm IST - Chennai

The area under cultivation in the Cauvery delta this Samba season is down by about 1.5 lakh acres compared to previous year.

As on September 25, the total area covered was about 1.77 lakh acres as against 3.31 lakh acres during the corresponding period last year (September 26, 2022). The reason is not far to seek. The poor availability of Cauvery water has forced farmers to be guarded in going for paddy this year. This is a fallout of Cauvery catchments in Kerala and Karnataka experiencing a rainfall deficit.

In the end, Tamil Nadu has been getting much less Cauvery water than its normal share.

During August and September, the State received approximately 30 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), while it should have received around 83 tmc ft.

However, V. Sathyanarayanan, a veteran farmer based out of Tiruvarur, said the general tendency of farmers in the delta was not to leave their paddy fields fallow. The usual coverage of 13-14 lakh acres can be achieved by using a medium-duration crop of about 120 days along with a short duration crop for Thaladi, which also runs more or less concurrently.

A former official of the Agriculture Department, who has been studying issues concerning the delta, said that in times of water stress, it was common for farmers to go in for direct sowing, a feature that is present this time. Yet, in respect of at least one-third of the area covered during Samba, they would go in for the conventional method of cultivation that includes the stages of nursery and transplantation.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK’s former coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in a statement, condemned the response of the Karnataka government over the latest decision of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.

He wanted Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to exert pressure on the Karnataka government to secure adequate water for Tamil Nadu.

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