Tamil Nadu has been creating a revolution in producing paddy surpassing its productivity on two consecutive years and during this fiscal too, the state is expected to exceed its previous years’ productivity of the food grain, Chief Minister M K Stalin said here on Friday.
Stating that both the acreage under paddy cultivation and also the productivity in the delta districts have been steadily increasing since the last two years, he said his DMK government has not budged from its stand of safeguarding the interests of the delta farmers and asserted that his government would strongly oppose the proposed move of the Karnataka government in constructing a dam across the Cauvery river at Mekedatu.
The turnaround in the agriculture front was due to the prompt initiative taken by his government to desilt the canals and waterbodies before the customary raising of the sluice gates of the Mettur dam (in Salem) to facilitate the agricultural operations, he told reporters at the airport here. “Our government has been according priority to agriculture and also in maintaining the waterways to ensure the farmers received copious water for irrigation,” he said.
During 2021-22, about Rs 62.91 crore was allotted for desilting the canals for a distance of 3,889 km and the Mettur dam was opened on June 12. This resulted in bringing 4.90 lakh acres land under Kuruvai cultivation and another 13.34 lakh acres under Samba crop and this helped to achieve a record paddy production of 39.71 lakh tonne.
“I won’t call this record. It’s a revolution. In 2022-23 we surpassed the previous year’s area of cultivation and production to 5.36 lakh acres for Kuruvai and 13.53 lakh acres for Samba crop leading to a production of 41.45 lakh tonne of paddy. This was because we took up desilting work for Rs 80 crore, extended crop loans to farmers and opened the Mettur dam on May 24,” the Chief Minister said.
During the current year, the government has taken up the desilting work at an outlay of Rs 90 crore and nearly 96 per cent work has been completed and the remaining portion would be completed soon, he said.
Desilting work has already been completed for a distance of 4,773 km stretch of canals in Salem, Namakkal, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruchirapplli, Thanjvur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai districts, he added.
“I would personally visit to release the water from the Mettur dam for irrigation and I hope this year too the farmers would break the previous two years’ record,” Stalin said.
Asked about the Congress government in Karnataka resolving to build a dam at Mekedatu, the Chief Minister replied “We will firmly oppose the construction, toeing the line of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.”
This article has been republished from The Indian Express