CHENNAI: AIADMK interim general secretary and former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urged the DMK government to provide adequate compensation to the Delta farmers, who incurred Kuruvai crop loss due to recent rains.
Claiming that Kuruvai crops, which were ready to harvest, were lost in more than one lakh acres due to heavy rains in the delta regions such as Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, and Myladuthurai, he said, in addition, several thousand acres of agricultural lands were also flooded in other parts of the State.
Stating that the farmers, who have spent more money on purchasing fertilizers, were severely affected after their crops were submerged in the rain waters, "have also demanded an immediate assessment of the damaged crops and to provide compensation of Rs 35,000 per farmer and per acre".
"In addition, farmers have asked their respective Collectors to immediately open all government paddy storage units,” he said, adding that they were also demanding the government to purchase the paddy crops, which are 22% dry.
Palaniswami said, however, the State government is claiming that the Union government did not permit to purchase of paddy crops that are humid in nature. "The government should get permission from the Centre and immediately purchase those crops, and pay the farmers adequately".
The AIADMK leader also alleged that agricultural loans were not distributed to the farmers through cooperative societies according to the size of farming lands. "Due to this, the farmers were pushed to get loans from the private banks,” he said.
"As the government did not purchase the paddy crops, farmers, who were desperately in need of money, were forced to sell 60 kg paddy for just between Rs 150 and Rs 200,” he said,
He claimed, “Farmers say that except for AST 16 type of paddy, other varieties could not be sold.”
Refuting the DMK government's claim that cultivating areas in Delta districts have increased after it came to power, Palaniswami said: “In 2011 when AIADMK led by late Jayalalithaa was in power the cultivation area in the Delta region increased to 4.5 lakh acres".
"Instead of advertising the claims, the government should immediately purchase the paddy from the farmers and a compensation of Rs 35,000 per acre should be given to the farmers,” he said.