But for paddy procurement price, all proposals are beneficial: Delta farmers
Even as they lauded the State government for presenting the separate budget for agriculture, which included announcements like Coconut Development Board in Pattukkottai, food process incubation centres at Nagapattinam and Tiruchy, and Nammalvar Organic Farming Research Centre, the farmers in Cauvery Delta expressed dissatisfaction that paddy procurement price was less than what they expected.
According to Cauvery Farmers Protection Association Secretary Swamimalai Sundara Vimalnathan, supporting organic farming was a welcome move. But short-term loans to the tune of Rs 470 crore were not written off as expected, he said. Earlier, agricultural loans to the tune of Rs 12,110 crore availed through Cooperative Societies were waived off before election.
Bharatiya Kisan Sangam (BKS) appreciated the announcement on getting GI tag for traditional products like Kolli hills pepper, Panruti jackfruit, turmeric and ponni rice. “The BSK welcomes the announcement of traditional paddy seed processing centres, drumstick special zone in Karur, food process incubation centres at Nagapattinam (fish), Tiruchy (banana), Cuddalore (jackfruit) and Dharmapuri (mangoes),” said its spokesperson N Veerasekaran.
However, he added that farmers were disappointed about the paddy procurement price of Rs 2,060 per quintal. “In their manifesto, the DMK had promised to fix at least Rs 2,500 per quintal for paddy. But its government announced only Rs 2,060,” he said.
P Govindaraj, secretary, Sugarcane Farmers’ Association, welcomed the hike in procurement price by Rs 150 per tonne, the incentive of Rs 42 per tonne for the sugarcane harvested last year, and the allotment of Rs 40 crore for development of sugarcane cultivation.
Coconut farmers celebrate budget
Meanwhile, coconut farmers in Thanjavur celebrated the decision to set up Coconut Development Board in Pattukkottai. This would help restore coconut farming that was devastated by the Gaja cyclone, said Ponnavarayankottai Veerasenan of Coconut Farmers’ Association. “Farmers in the region have been demanding for such a board for a long time,” he said.