TAMIL NADU

Farmers relieved as paddy harvest gains momentum

Paddy harvest in progress at Magilambadi village in Tiruchi.Photo: A.MuralitharanA_MURALITHARAN  

For C. Ravichandran (55), a marginal farmer of South Magizhampadi near Lalgudi, the samba season has not been bad. Despite some anxious moments over availability of water for a last wetting in February, he has managed to harvest paddy successfully.

He is among several farmers in Lalgudi taluk, who are busy marketing their produce to get back their investment.

Mr. Ravichandran brought two acres of land under paddy cultivation in the samba season and raised Tanvi variety, a long term paddy crop (120 days). Like many other farmers in the belt, he had conventional paddy transplantation and says that the yield was not bad. Many other farmers, who had experienced unproductive season in 2016-17 due to severe drought, seem to be heaving a sigh of relief as they have successfully harvested paddy this year.

“We have netted 40 bags (60 kg) per acre. It is just about average. Our priority is now to cash in on our produce,” Mr. Ravichandran says.

Another farmer of South Magizhampadi said that the yield could have been better if water was released for a wetting.

Fields located in tail end areas of Lalgudi block are withering due to want of water.

While some farmers chose to abandon the crop, some others have made last minute efforts to save the crop by purchasing water from the farmers, who own pump sets.

Sources in the Agriculture Department said paddy has been raised on about 44,000 hectares in the district. Of this, harvest has been completed on about 12,000 hectares up to March 1.

“We have received reports that many farmers have netted 8 tonnes per hectare. It is good yield,” a senior official said.