He said 3.50 lakh acre has been set as target for kuruvai crop coverage in the Delta and the figure would be achieved as water would be released form the Mettur Dam on the customary date. “Out of the total 3.50 lakh acre target in the Delta, farmers have already started the work in 1.42 lakh acre with the groundwater support and the most expected kuruvai package will soon be discussed with the Chief Minister and announced,” the Minister said.
Informing that there is adequate stock of seeds available to take up kuruvai cultivation, he said that of the 5,600 tonnes of paddy seeds required for kuruvai, 3,155 tonnes have been distributed and there is a stock of another 2,911 tonnes with the government. “Among the seeds, short term varieties like CO 51, Aduthurai 36, 37, 43 and 45, Ambai 16 and Thiruppathisaram 5 are available both in agricultural produce centres and private firms. There won’t be shortage for seeds this kuruvai season,” the Minister assured.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the crop insurance claims have been distributed in a phased manner. So far, Rs 35 crore has been distributed to the farmers and the remaining amount would be released in a week. “The previous year’s samba crop insurance distribution would commence in a month while the compensation for the coconut farmers affected by Cyclone Gaja would be discussed with the Chief Minister and steps would be initiated,” he added.
Earlier, the Minister visited Tiruvarur and inspected the ongoing raising of nurseries works and organic fertilizer production units in the district.
Minister’s attitude irks farmers
During the press briefing in Thanjavur, when a media person asked about the alleged ‘tips’ of Rs 40 per bag being demanded in the DPCs, the Minister ‘chided’ the reporter saying that he was not ready to answer any such insane queries. “If you ask insane question (kirukku thanamaana kelvi), I too will give an insane response (kirukku thanamaana badhil),” said the Minister.
His reaction created a flutter not only among media persons, but also among farmers. The farmers condemned the attitude of the Minister. “We have been constantly complaining about the bribe amount of Rs 40 per bag collected by the DPC staff and demanding action against them. But the Minister gave such a ridiculing response and we condemn this,” said the Cauvery Farmers Protection Association Secretary Swamimalai Sundara Vimalanathan.
“He should take back these words,” Vimalanathan said and added that the association has decided to take this to the notice of the Chief Minister MK Stalin.