With the cultivation season soon to commence following the arrival of Vaigai water, a special proposal has been sent for establishing around 100 direct procurement centres (DPCs) for procuring samba paddy in Ramanathapuram. Besides, five storage facilities, each capable of storing around 20,000 MT, are being prepared across the district.
According to sources, August-September is one of the biggest cultivation seasons in Ramanathapuram, as much as 1.3 lakh hectares of agricultural lands would be used for samba paddy cultivation in the district. “Apart from last year, when more than 98,000 hectares of crop withered due to irrigation issues, an average of 5 lakh metric tonnes of paddy were harvested during the samba seasons in the previous years. Considering the arrival of rain, this year’s samba cultivation works are set to commence by mid-September in the district,” sources said.
As the IMD has predicted prominent rainfall for Ramanathapuram, the agricultural department has begun taking measures toward procuring samba paddy. Officials sources said, with a target similar to last year, as many as 100 DPCs have been proposed to be set up for procuring 1 lakh MT paddy this season. “Considering how storage was a major issue in the district with regard to procurement in the previous year, the department is preparing five storage facilities, each with a storage capacity of 20,000 MT. While two facilities have already been set up, works are underway to set up the remaining three storage facilities,” the officials said.
Officials further stated that, accordingly, primary ploughing works have been completed. “As Vaigai water has not been released yet, farmers have placed their hopes on the monsoon season. “As rainfall commences, farmers will begin sowing works in Ramanathapuram. Apart from the conventional varieties, the agriculture department will also provide traditional paddy seeds to be cultivated on 1,000 hectares this season. About 2,500 MT Urea has also been kept ready in private and government storage facilities for farmers during the samba season,” the officials added.
While speaking, Bakkianathan, a farmer leader from Ramanathapuram, stated that with the season soon to commence, drought relief and crop insurance cover should be provided to farmers without any delay. “The relief amount could alleviate the financial burden that farmers face due to the previous year’s failed seasons. Action must be taken towards waiving off the crop loans of farmers, considering the drought in the previous season,” Bakkianathan added.
This article has been republished from The New Indian Express