RANIPET: The recent rain has left farmers of Ranipet divided as one section is happy that the spell benefit rain-fed crops while the other group, who recently harvested paddy, are worried over the fate of their crops because of the lack of storage space.
The paddy farmers have no other option other than covering their harvested crops with plastic sheets. If water sneaks through the gaps below the plastic sheets, it will increase the moisture content making entire produce unfit for procurement in direct purchase centres or resulting in poor returns.
CS Mani, president of the Ranipet unit of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said, “we desperately need drying yards, which presently are few and far between and are not enough to meet the needs of all farmers.”
Ranipet district has drying yards in some panchayats which were built by the DMK government in 2006-2011. During its 10-year rule, the AIADMK overlooked this much-needed facility for farmers. “As a result, farmers are forced to dry paddy on roads,” said Shanmugam, a farmer from Panapakkam in Nemili taluk.
Asked on what basis farmers would be allowed to use drying yards, the Sangam’s state youth wing president R Subash said, “it was always on a first-come-first-served basis. The farmer who first dumped paddy had exclusive right to use the yard and others will be forced to wait till he completely dried his crops.”
The state has already witnessed numerous complaints of paddy offloaded at DPCs not being procured on time resulting in their sprouting when drenched by continuous downpour, Subash added.
“The rain caught farmers unawares resulting in many having their paddy stacked in the open being drenched. As farmers lack space in their house to store harvested paddy, the only alternative is procurement by DPCs at the earliest,” Mani added.