Declare Madurai districts as drought-hit, demand farmers

Farmers in Madurai district had demanded the district administration and the state government to declare Madurai district as drought-hit. In the farmers grievance meeting held at the Collectorate, the farmers raised the issue in unison.
Declare Madurai districts as drought-hit, demand farmers
Farmers seen arguing with officials at the farmers grievance meeting held at Madurai


Farmers claimed there was water shortage in the district and they could not carry out cultivation and hence Madurai district should be declared drought-hit. Devaraj, a farmer claimed that since 2006 farmers of Melur and other adjoining villages are practicing paddy farming only once in a year and this year the water scarcity was severe that they could not undertake it.  They demanded a compensation of Rs. 25,000-35,000 per acre. All the loans obtained by farmers should be written off, demanded Devaraj. Another farmer Ashokan claimed that there is no ground water available at all. The State government should setup desalination plants and distribute drinking water demanded Ashokan.
Loans through PACS 
He also claimed that farmers hould be given loan through Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) to facilitate farming in the coming season.  Farmers further alleged that PACS are further refusing to register crop insurance. Under the new Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme the VAOs are refusing to include the farmers who had carried out cultivation in leased lands and demanded the district administration to issue orders for officials to include such farmers under crop Insurance.
Wild boars damage crops 
Farmers from Athipatti village alleged that wild boars were damaging their crops and they had incurred huge loss. They had raised maize in their farmlands, but the wild boars had damaged the crops entirely. The farmers demanded protection for crops from the animals or wanted permission for air guns to shoo away the wild boars.
Shift to millets: Collector 
Paddy cultivation requires lot of water, and as there is severe water shortage, farmers should opt for cultivation of millets and pulses claimed Madurai Collector, K Veera Raghav Rao, at Madurai.
Addressing the farmers at the farmers grievance meeting, Collector claimed that combining all the three cropping seasons of Kuruvai, Samba and Navarai, the total target of paddy cultivation in Madurai district was fixed at 52,000 hectares but in total only 7,128 hectares of Paddy cultivation was achieved. 
But in contrast, cultivation of millets, pulses and similar crops was good. The target fixed for cultivation of millets was nearly s28,700 hectares and the achieved farming stood at 23,732 hectares. Similarly, for pulses the target was fixed at 11,800 hectares and the achieved cultivation was 9,930 hectares.

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