The Tamil Nadu Government has requested the Union Government to extend the last date for premium payment for insuring the samba or thaladi paddy crop, Minister for Cooperation I. Periyasamy said at Tiruvarur on Friday.
The request came after farmers demanded that the last date be extended from November 15 to the month-end, arguing that the cultivation had not been completed yet in the Cauvery delta and the heavy rainfall had caused them hardships.
Mr. Periyasamy, who led a team of Ministers to inspect the inundated crops in the delta districts on Friday, said the primary agricultural cooperative societies would function on Saturday and Sunday to enable farmers to pay the premium.
Ministers Thangam Thennarasu (Industries), K.R. Periakaruppan (Rural Development), S. Reghupathy (Law), R. Sakkarapani (Food and Civil Supplies), Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi (School Education), and Siva V. Meyyanathan (Environment) formed part of the team that inspected the inundated fields in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin will inspect the inundation of crops in the delta districts on Saturday.
In Thanjavur district, 4,086 hectares of paddy has been inundated. Of this, the crop on 41.05 hectares has suffered more than 33% damage. Steps are being taken to drain the water from the fields to save the crops.
The samba/thaladi crop has been raised on about 1.13 lakh hectares in the district against the targetted 1.26 lakh hectares.
Mr. Periyasamy urged farmers to insure their crop without fail and directed officials of the Departments of Agriculture and Cooperation to work in coordination to disburse farm inputs and credit to farmers as soon as the water receded.
The Minister said the samba/thaladi crop raised on about 17,000 hectares had been inundated in Tiruvarur. Interacting with the team, farmers representatives demanded that the full extent of the damage be enumerated and the affected farmers given compensation.
Losses in Nagapattinam
Cauvery S. Dhanapalan, president, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Sangankalin Kootiyakkam, told the team that the samba crop was less than 60 days old and farmers had suffered more than 50% crop losses in Nagapattinam district.
He urged the team to consider 33% damage to the crops as ‘full damage’ and grant compensation accordingly.
V. Jeevakumar, vice-president, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, Thanjavur, emphasised the need for desilting the drainage canals in the delta.
“There are more than 29,800 canals in the delta districts and they should be cleared of silt on a war footing. The crops are getting damaged as farmers are unable to drain the rainwater. We also sought weedicides and cono-weeders at subsidised rates. Availability of fertilizers should be ensured,” he said.