Officials confident of normal samba cultivation

TIRUCHI, AUG. 14. Even as farmers here were gearing up to start farming operations following the release of water from the Mettur reservoir, Agriculture department officials have expressed confidence that samba paddy coverage would touch the normal area of 50,000 hectares in the district this season after three successive bad years.

Farmers are hoping for a good monsoon and continued inflows into the Mettur to see them through this season. Though apprehensions have been expressed on whether the current storage would be adequate for the entire duration of the samba crop in the delta, the officials do not foresee much problem for farmers in the district. The farmers have been pressing for uninterrupted supply in the 14 irrigation channels to ensure that those in the tail-end areas were able to take up cultivation.

Good rainfall

Already the district has received some good rainfall this year. Till the end of July, the district received 303.00 mm of rainfall, 56 per cent above the normal of 232.20 mm for the period. In July alone, the district recorded 86.62 mm against the normal of 43.30 mm.

The Mettur water is expected to be released into the irrigation channels in the district by next week only after it reaches the tail-end areas of the delta, according to the Public Works Department officials. Farming operations would begin in right earnest only after water was released into the channels.

Agriculture officials expect that about 30,000 hectares would be covered under paddy in the Cauvery irrigated areas and another 20,000 hectares in other parts of the district. Last year, only about 31,000 hectares were covered under paddy during the samba season while kuruvai cultivation was taken up only on 2,660 hectares against the normal of 8,500 hectares. This year, kuruvai paddy cultivation was taken up on 4,236 hectares, mostly in the filter-point areas. Besides, millets have been raised on about 7,589 hectares, oilseeds on 10,830 and pulses on about 2,200 hectares in the rainfed areas.


The coverage under banana is also expected to touch the normal of 13,000 hectares. However, the coverage under sugarcane is expected to be much less this year as many farmers are expected to go in for paddy. So far, the coverage under sugarcane in the district was 1,340 hectares.

The Agriculture department has moved adequate quantity of seeds to all its depots and private agencies. A total of 240 tonnes of seeds of Aduthurai-39, Aduthurai-46, Aduthurai-43, ASD-19, Ko.43 and Tiruchi-1 varieties have been kept ready. In addition, private agencies have a stock of 490 tonnes of seeds.

Seeds of Aduthurai-43, ASD-19 and Tiruchi-1 varieties would be supplied to farmers with a subsidy of Rs. 2 a kg. Adequate quantity of bio-fertilizers and micronutrients has also been kept ready.

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