TAMIL NADU

Raise short or medium-term crop, farmers told

CUDDALORE, AUG. 1. The District Collector, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, has appealed to the delta farmers to raise short or medium-term crops.

Addressing a Farmers' Grievance Day meeting here today, Mr. Bedi said Cauvery water would be released for irrigation at an appropriate time.

He said incidents of brown plant hopper attack were reported in the lately sown CR-1009 variety in the Kumaratchi block last year. Therefore, to avert any damage, the farmers could take up cultivation of short or medium duration crop. If the farmers opted for the long-term crop, the Agriculture Department would not take any responsibility for any loss they suffer.

Mr. Bedi said there was deficient rainfall in the district in July. As against the normal rainfall of 76.1 mm., the district received only 12.8 mm. However, the area under the sornavari and kuruvai crops had gone up from 13,500 to 14,969 ha, thanks to water from the Neyveli mines and borewells.

Regulated market

Mr. Bedi said a regulated market would be opened at Veppur for the benefit of farmers in Vriddhachalam taluk. The market, being set up by the Cuddalore Market Committee, would trade groundnut, gingili, black gram, coriander, millets, neem and cotton seeds.

Mr. Bedi observed that the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, had suggested that farmers take up cultivation of crops consuming minimum water such as jatropha, sugar beet and sweet sorghum. The Collector said he had sent recommendations for extension of crop insurance scheme for sugarcane too, and extension of insurance coverage for samba crop up to November.

The demands of the cane growers that the enhanced price of Rs 90 per tonne of sugarcane by the Pennadam sugar mill be released in one instalment and interest paid on delayed payment last year had been sent to the Director of Sugar, he said.

On the representations of the farmers and their associations, 126 desilting works had been taken up at a cost of Rs 2.61 crores. The Collector directed the officials to execute these works properly.

Mr Bedi said the Government had sent its recommendations to the Central Government to depute the farmers of Cuddalore district to Punjab under the farmers' exchange programme this year.

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