Standing paddy crop on 1.50 lakh acres in the tail-end delta region is craving for adequate water, as the present supply falls short of the requirements, said V. Kannan, vice-president of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association.
Mr. Kannan told The Hindu that the tail end delta region was not getting its due share of water from the Lower Anicut. It was customary that 10 per cent of the total quantum of Cauvery water (released from the Mettur Dam) realised at the Grand Anicut ought to be let into to the Lower Anicut.
From the Lower Anicut water would flow to irrigate the ayacut areas under the South Rajan and North Rajan canlas, the Vadavar and the Veeranam tank.
Of the 9,400 cusecs of water being discharged from the Stanley reservoir the realisation at the Grand Anicut as on Sunday was in the region of 6,300 cusecs.
According to the established practice the Lower Anicut could have received 630 cuseces of water on a daily basis, as its judicious share, but the present realisation was ranging between 200 cusecs and 400 cusecs.
Mr. Kannan pointed out that owing to the belated water release the transplantation of paddy crop was extended beyond the scheduled period. As of now the crop was at pre-flowering and at flowering stage.
This was the right time the crop required proper wetting and if starved of water at this stage the crops would wither away. Therefore, the farmers in the places such as Killai, Parangipettai and the ayacutdars of the Sethiathope Anicut system and the South Rajan canal were keeping their fingers crossed as they were unsure about the prospects of the crop yield.
Mr. Kannan said, “If adequate water is supplied the paddy crop would be ready for harvest in the first week of February. If not, the farmers in the tail-end delta region are in for trouble,” he added.
Therefore, he appealed to the Public Works Department officials at Thanjavur to suitably increase the quantum of release from the Mettur Dam to fulfil the requirements of the farmers in this region.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/water-shor...
Nellore: While excess rain in the wake of Cyclone Helen had submerged and damaged the standing crop in north Andhra, scanty rainfall has reduced the paddy cultivation area in SPSR Nellore district.
The farmers are wary over raising crops, especially in upland areas, because of lack of rains. In fact, the rainfall parameters are suitable for declaring six mandals including Varikuntapadu, Bogolu, A.S. Peta, Chejerla, Podalakur, Dakkili and Venkatagiri as drought-hit.
The deficit in rainfall is to the extent of 34 per cent during October and November (northeast monsoon season), which contributes 51 per cent of annual rainfall in the district. Worst-hit areas, because of the decline in the rainfall, were mandals located in the western part of the district.
Even the eastern parts of the district also would have been in the same situation if not for the reasonable rainfall during October. The rainfall was 203.1 mm as against normal rainfall of 239 mm in October 2013.
However, the rainfall in November, which is coming to end in two days, is 130.9 mm as against 313.4 mm. The sharp drop is causing uneasiness among the farmers. Moreover, the district hardly receives any rains during December except in case of cyclones.
For instance, the normal rainfall in December is 109 mm and it remained below normal in six out of 10 years. Even if the normal rainfall is achieved it cannot overtake the overall deficit.
Chief planning officer P.B.K. Murthy said that only 50,000 hectare have been covered under paddy cultivation out of total 2,78,782 hectare during rabi season (ongoing agriculture season) so far. He felt that the paddy growing area may come down if the same situation, with respect to rainfall, is continued.
Incidentally, paddy growing area came down by 34 per cent during kharif season also in the district because of lack of water in Somasila then. Paddy was raised in 32,240 hectares out of the total paddy cultivated area of 62,000 hectare during kharif season this year.
सहारनपुर: समय से इंद्रदेव मेहरबान हुए। झमाझम बारिश से हालांकि जानमाल से सबका नुकसान हुआ, लेकिन धान की फसल के लिए अच्छी बारिश हुई है। रोपाई समय से होने के नाते कृषि विज्ञानियों का मानना है कि इस बार धान की खुशबू चौतरफा फैलेगी। धान की अच्छी पैदावार होने की संभावना प्रबल हो गई है।
जिले में धान की पैदावार का मुख्य केंद्र तराई वाले क्षेत्र हैं। इसमें यमुना से लगते बेहट, सरसावा, नकुड़ व गंगोह मुख्य रूप से उपजाऊ होते हैं, मगर कई बार यमुना में पानी अधिक आ जाने के कारण धान की फसल बर्बाद भी हो जाती है, लेकिन इस साल जिले में धान की रोपाई से पहले और बाद में जिस तरह से बारिश हो रही है उसे देख अधिकांश किसानों ने धान को तवज्जो दी है। किसानों को उम्मीद है कि इस साल धान का दाम भी अच्छा रहेगा। यही कारण है कि बासमती धान अधिक लगाया गया है। यूं तो जिले का किसान हमेशा से ही गन्ने को प्राथमिकता पर रखता है। गत वर्ष जनपद में धान का औसत उत्पादन प्रति हेक्टेयर 26.17 कुंतल रहा था। इसे देखते हुए ही इस बार यह लक्ष्य 27.38 कुंतल प्रति हेक्टेयर रखा गया है। किसानों के रुख को देखकर ही शासन से लक्ष्य निर्धारित किया जाता है। गत वर्ष जनपद में धान का उत्पादन 141.428 मीट्रिक टन रहा था। इसे देखते हुए ही इस बार धान का लक्ष्य 150.77 मीट्रिक टन रखा गया है।
विगत वर्षों में यह रही स्थिति
मगर पिछले कई वर्षों से किसान गन्ने के साथ-साथ धान को भी बढ़ावा दे रहे हैं। यही कारण है कि जिले में धान का रकबा 50-55 हजार हेक्टेयर के बीच चला आ रहा है। वर्ष 2010 में किसानों ने 58 हजार हेक्टेयर रकबे में धान की रोपाई की थी। वर्ष 2011 में 55 हजार हेक्टेयर में धान की रोपाई की गई थी। वर्ष 2012 में 51 हजार हेक्टेयर रकबे में धान की रोपाई की गई थी। इस साल 55 हजार 58 हेक्टेयर रकबे में धान की रोपाई का लक्ष्य रखा गया है। अभी तक 50 हजार हेक्टेयर से अधिक कृषि भूभाग पर धान की रोपाई की जा चुकी है। कृषि वैज्ञानिक डा. आइके कुशवाहा का कहना है कि यदि किसान अभी से धान फसल की सुरक्षा के उपाय करेंगे तो इस बार अच्छी फसल होगी।
जिले में धान पूर्ति हेक्टेयर
धान नर्सरी -3725
धान सुगंधित- 31050
धान शंकर -3690
धान अन्य - 14976
Courtesy : http://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur-10598650.html
(ఆంధ్రజ్యోతి, కరీంనగర్ సిటీ):ఈ ఖరీఫ్ సీజన్లో వరి సాగు విస్తీర్ణం పెరగనుంది. ఐదు సంవత్సరాల త ర్వాత శ్రీరాంసాగర్ ప్రాజెక్టు నిండడం తో రైతుల మోములో ఆనందం వెల్లివిరుస్తోంది. దీంతో వరి సాగు వైపు రైతు లు దృష్టిని సారిస్తున్నారు. జిల్లాలో సా ధారణ వరి సాగు ఒక లక్షా 70 వేల హె క్టార్లు కాగా, ప్రాజెక్టు నిండిన కారణం గా 2 లక్షల 50 వేల హెక్టార్లకు పెరగ నుందని వ్యవసాయ శాఖ అధికారులు అంచనా వేస్తున్నారు. ఐదేళ్లుగా ఖరీఫ్ సీజన్లో లక్షా 83 వేల హెక్టార్ల వరి సాగయ్యేది. ఈసారి రికార్డు స్థాయిలో వరి సాగయ్యే అవకాశాలు కనపడుతున్నాయి. విస్తారంగా కురుస్తున్న వర్షాల కు శ్రీరాంసాగర్ ప్రాజెక్టులోకి నీళ్లు వ చ్చాయి. గురువారం రాత్రి వరకు పూర్తి స్థాయి నీటి మట్టానికి చేరుకోవడంతో కొద్దిసేపు గేట్లు ఎత్తి నీటిని గోదావరిలోకి వదిలి పెట్టారు. లోయర్ మానేరు డ్యామ్లోకి వరద కాలువ, కాకతీయ ప్రధాన కాలువ ద్వారా సుమారు 17,629 క్యూసెక్కుల నీటిని వదిలారు. దీంతో మానేరు నీటి మట్టం దాదాపు 13.530 టీఎంసీలకు చేరుకుంది.
ప్రస్తు తం శ్రీరాంసాగర్ ప్రాజెక్టు నీటి మట్టం 83.772 టీఎంసీలు, ఇన్ఫ్లో 16,246 క్యూసెక్కులు వస్తున్నది. మానేరులోకి 17,629 క్యూసెక్కులు వస్తుండగా నల్లగొండ జిల్లాలోని కొన్ని చెరువులు, కుం టలను నింపేందుకు మానేరు నుంచి కాకతీయ ప్రధాన కాలువ ద్వారా 3 వేల క్యూసెక్కుల నీటిని వదిలి పెట్టా రు. ఎగువ ఆయకట్టుకు ఆగస్టు 1 నుం చి, లోయక్ మానేరు డ్యామ్ నుంచి దిగువ ఆయకట్టుకు ఆగస్టు 15 నుంచి నీటిని వదిలి పెట్టాలని ప్రాజెక్టు అధికారులు ఇప్పటికే నిర్ణయించారు. ప్రస్తుతానికి వ్యవసాయ బావులు, చెరువులు, కుంటల కింద వరి నాట్లు వేసేందుకు నార్లు పోసుకున్నారు. కొందరు రైతులు దూరదృష్టితో కాలువ ద్వారా సాగయ్యే భూముల కోసం వరి నార్లు పోశారు. ఒక్కసారిగా ఎస్సారెస్పీ నిండడంతో అప్రమత్తమైన రైతులు వ్యవసాయ బావుల కింద వారం రోజుల నుంచి వరి నార్లు పోస్తున్నారు. ప్రతి ఏటా ముందస్తుగానే వరి నార్లు పోసుకుంటున్న రైతులు ప్రతి ఏటా నష్టపోవాల్సి వస్తుండడంతో గత ఏడాది నుంచి ఎక్కువ మొత్తంలో వరి నార్లు పోయడం లేదు.
ప్రాజెక్టులు నిండడం, మూడు రోజు ల నుంచి వర్షాలు తగ్గుముఖం పట్టడంతో బావులు, చెరువులు, కుంటల కింద ము మ్మరంగా వరి నాట్లు వేస్తున్నారు. జిల్లాలోని అన్ని నీటి వనరులు జలకళతో ఉండడంతో సాగు పెరుగుతోంది. ఇప్పటికే 46,995 హెక్టార్లలో వరి, 53,151 హెక్టార్లలో మొక్కజొన్న, 4,417 హెక్టార్లలో పెసర, 3,419 హెక్టార్లలో కం దులు, 279 హెక్టార్లలో నువ్వులు, 465 హెక్టార్లలో అలసంద, 19,597 హెక్టార్ల లో సోయా చిక్కుడు, 2,38,427 హెక్టార్లలో పత్తి, 286 హెక్టార్లలో మిర్చి, 1364 హెక్టార్లలో చెరుకు, 10,054 హెక్టార్లలో పసుపు, 5,030 హెక్టార్లలో ఇతర పంటలు, మొత్తం 3,83,484 హెక్టార్లలో సాగు చేశారు.
ఈ సీజన్లో 6,34,335 హెక్టార్లలో అన్ని రకాల పం టలు సాగు కానున్నాయని వ్యవసాయ శాఖ అంచనా వేసింది. ఇందులో వరి 2 లక్షల 50 వేల హెక్టార్లకు పెరగవచ్చని అంచనా వేశారు. వారం, పది రోజుల్లో జిల్లా వ్యాప్తంగా వరి సాగు లక్షా 50 వేల హెక్టార్లకు చేరనుంది. ఆగస్టు నెలాఖరు వరకు వరి నాట్లు వేసుకునే అవకాశాలున్నాయని వ్యవసాయ శాఖ అధికారులు చెబుతున్నారు. 2009 రబీలో రికార్డు స్థాయిలో వరి సాగు అయ్యింది. ప్రస్తుత సీజన్లో అంతకు మించి వరి సాగు కానున్నదని అంచనా.
Courtesy : http://www.andhrajyothy.com/ContentPage.jsp?category=headlines&story_id=...
THIRIUCHIRAPALLI : A total of 12,134 hectares of land had been covered under kuruvai so far and another 14,000 hectares of land will be brought under the crop in the current season in Tiruvarur district, said R. Kamaraj, Minister for Food.
Speaking after distributing agricultural implements under the special kuruvai package for farmers at Valangaiman near here, Mr. Kamaraj said both conventional and System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods of paddy cultivation were being adopted. While 4,820 hectares of land were covered under the conventional method, 7,314 hectares were covered under SRI method.
The special package complete with fertilisers, bio-fertilisers, pesticides, and borewell pipes has imbued confidence in farmers, he said.
Under the package, farmers would get free implements worth Rs. 4.32 crore before the end of the month.
The inputs under the scheme included 1,589 tonnes of gypsum worth Rs. 55.60 lakh, micronutrients worth Rs. 29.12 lakh. Pesticides worth Rs. 48.14 lakh would be given as part of the package. The Agriculture Department would focus on popularising SRI technique among farmers and demonstration sessions would be held in select villages under the National Agriculture Development Programme and National Food Security Mission to benefit 14,152 paddy cultivators. M. Ganesan,
Additional Director of Seeds, and P. Manimaran, District Revenue Officer, spoke.
The Minister distributed free inputs worth Rs.2.70 lakh to 95 farmers.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/kuruvai-crop-on-26000...
India’s main (Kharif) rice crop planting area has increased to around 11.007 million hectares as of July 12, up about 13% from around 9.75 million hectares during same time last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Total area under Kharif crop planting (including rice and other crops) has increased sharply to about 51.765 million hectare this week, up about 52% from around 34.149 million hectares at this time last year.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/india-main-rice-crop-planting-area-reaches-11-m...
UDUPI: A steep increase in the price of rice with each passing year has suddenly revived farmers' interest in agriculture. Agricultural lands in many parts of the district which were left uncultivated for many years are now seeing feverish activities.
Farmers with smaller land holdings had gradually moved away from paddy cultivation in the past one decade citing the reasons of increased labour charges and non-availability of labourers. But with the increase in the price of rice, farmers are back to farming.
In most parts of the district, tillers are being used to plough the field in lieu of manual labour. The onset of monsoon on time and good rains in the coastal region are also believed to be a boon for kharif crop.
In areas like Kota, Sastan, Thekkatte, Katapadi and Kaup, farmers are engaged in paddy cultivation. Ramachandra Shetty, a farmer in Kaup, told TOI that his one acre of land was left fallow for the past six years due to labour scarcity and the loss he suffered by cultivating the land.
Paying Rs 350 per hour for tiller and Rs 1,500 per hour for transplant machines is viable now when compared to buying rice from the shops, he says.
Gopal Nayak, another farmer in Shivapura near Hebri, said that though tiller machines were made available from the district agriculture department at subsidized rate, he preferred to take them on rent. For cultivating his one acre land, Gopal spent nearly Rs 10,000 for seeds, labour and rent charges for tiller. He expects good crop after the harvest.
Antony M E, joint director, department of agriculture, Udupi, told TOI that it is aimed to cultivate paddy in 45,000 hectares of land in the district which is about 1,000 hectares more compared to last year's target. As of July second week, transplantation of paddy saplings has been completed in 22,000 hectares of land, while in another 23,000 hectares, transplantation of saplings will be completed in a week. He said that 1.80 lakh tonnes of paddy is expected to be produced in the 45,000 hectares of land.
Courtesy : http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-12/mangalore/4053602...
Coimbatore, July 5:
Farmers in Tamil Nadu have been advised to take adequate measures to protect their crop from pest and disease.
The Centre for Plant Protection Studies at the Farm Varsity here has made a forecast of the incidence of pest and disease in some of the major agricultural and horticultural crops for the month of July.
The forecast is based on the pest and disease surveillance reports from different districts of Tamil Nadu.
“It is expected to be below the Economic Threshold Level,” say CPPS experts.
Citing reports, the experts said leaf folder and stem borer have been noticed in the paddy crop in Tirunelveli, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Pudukottai and Salem districts.
“Set up light trap to attract and kill the adult moth and if need be spray neem seed kernel extract,” CPPS experts suggested.
For managing thrips in the nursery and in early transplanted rice, farmers have been recommended to spray Phosphamidon 40 SL 50 ml for 20 cent nursery area.
Coastal area farmers have been advised to spray Kocide (Copper Hydroxide) for the management of bacterial leaf blight in rice.
Farmers have been asked to install yellow sticky traps and spray neem seed kernel extract if needed to get rid of these pests.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/paddy-...
Andhra Pradesh : Thanks to the arrival of the early monsoons and bountiful rainfall during the month of June, agricultural operations have been intensified considerably for this kharif season.
Usually, kharif operations begin in the month of July in Karimnagar. However, agricultural operations were intensified in the month of June itself following the good rainfall. Against the normal rainfall of 153 mm in the month of June, the district received 208 mm rainfall boosting the morale of the farming community. In the month of July, the district receives normal rainfall of 283 mm. On Tuesday night alone, the district received heavy rainfall and recovered an average of 15 mm rainfall.
Buoyed over the rainfall, the agricultural department authorities said that the area of cultivation would increase considerably from 4.54 lakh hectares to 6.34 lakh hectares. The authorities said that paddy cultivation would be increased from 1.79 lakh hectares during the last kharif season to 1.97 lakh hectares in this season. Farmers have already planted paddy nurseries in 25,000 hectares in the district.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farming-in-karimnag...
Tirunelveli : Water was released from Papanasam dam, one of the three major reservoirs of the district, for ‘kar’ paddy cultivation on Thursday, following copious monsoon rains in the Western Ghats and consequent inflow of water into all eleven dams in the district. Chairman of Tamil Nadu Housing Board R.Murugaiah Pandian opened the shutters of Papanasam dam in the presence of MP S.S.Ramasubbu and MLA Esakki Subbiah even as water level in the dam stood at 90.20 feet against the maximum level of 143 feet.
The release of 1,000 cusecs of water into North and South Kodaimelazhagiyan Channels, Nadhiyunni, Kodagan, Kannadiyan, Nellai and Palayam Channels will be maintained for 110 days for farming operations in over 40,000 acres. The ‘kar’ paddy cultivation is taken up between June and September every year.
Water was also released from Petchipaarai dam in Kanyakumari district on Thursday, by Collector S.Nagarajan for ‘kanni poo’ paddy season. Though 200 cusecs of water was released from the dam by the Collector, this quantity will be changed based on the rainfall in various parts of the district where paddy cultivation has been taken up.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/
Flash floods have devastated India’s northern states of Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, possibly damaging thousands of paddy rice land in the regions affected by heavy and incessant rainfall in the past two days.
Official estimates of the damage to paddy fields are awaited, but local sources say that mud and slush deposits reached up to 2 meters high in some areas and waters washed away houses and cattle of thousands of farmers. Those living along the banks of river Jamuna are the worst affected.
Aromatic rice is grown in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and officials have to step-up their efforts in rehabilitation of farmers and provide them with the necessary seeds and other inputs to avoid losses this year. Moreover, floods have worsened the labor scarcity problem in the affected states, said sources.
Most of the rice planting in North India is done in July-August, but flooding could increase field preparation work and delay planting this year. However, agriculture officials say that there is enough time to help farmers re-plant their fields and rice production losses would be minimal if the situation improves in the coming days.
Meanwhile, heavy rains damaged standing paddy crop in around 5,000 hectares in the Jeypore region of India’s eastern state of Odisha as well.
Courtesy : http://oryza.com/content/flash-floods-damage-thousands-hectares-paddy-ri...
The prospects of paddy cultivation in Ernakulam are looking up this Virippu season (first crop) with the earlier than expected onset of the monsoon. If everything goes right, area under paddy in Ernakulam during the season is expected to easily exceed last year’s spread of 1,873 hectares, say figures from the department of agriculture.
“Of a total of 3,000 hectares available for paddy cultivation in the district, 1,200 hectares have already been sown,” said a senior department official here on Tuesday. The official said the recent peak recorded in the district was during the 2011 summer when a total of 2,600 hectares came under paddy.
In areas like Kunnukara, Edakkattuvayal, Amballoor and Koovappady sowing operations are complete or are in advanced stage. But it has been held up in places like Rayamangalam, Mulamthuruthy and Piravom mostly because of water logging.
In Kunnukara, around 78 hectares have come under the summer paddy crop. The farmers have been traditionally using the Uma variety of red rice and the yields have been good around 5.5 tonnes a hectare. However, the intensity of the rains this season has raised some fears that rising water levels in the fields may affect productivity.
The Indian Meteorological Department predicted on Tuesday that the district would get between 64 mm and 35 mm of rain over the next five days. Figures from the IMD also show that the district has received copious rains, in excess of the normal rainfall. The actual rainfall between June 1 and 12 has been 401.6 mm against the normal 270.3 mm in the district.
A department official said the expanded dry weather during April-May held up dry sowing but picked up momentum in the first week of June itself.
Unlike in Pokkali, the Virippu season has not been hit by any shortage of seeds. Uma and Jyoti varieties are the favourites during the first crop and the seeds have been sourced from Kerala State Seed Development Authority.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/drip-drip-hurray-early-rain-ch...
Paddy cultivation has witnessed a steady decline in the district in the past two decades. The crop, which was cultivated on 3,325 hectares in 1997, was grown only on 1,657 hectares during the last kharif season.
Of the total 45,000 hectares under agriculture twice a year in the district, paddy is cultivated on just 1,657 hectares, bringing it into a minor crop category.
Terming it as a cause of concern, agriculture experts cite a number of reasons for the reducing area under paddy, while farmers mainly complain that rice cultivation is getting costlier and the yield per hectare is diminishing, making it unviable for them to grow paddy.
Scientist in-charge of Una Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Dr Arvind Kumar said rice cultivation was at its peak in 1997, but 10 years later, it had been reduced to 1,976 hectares and there had been a steady decline thereafter.
Kumar said the current average yield at 23.84 quintals per hectare was also very less as compared to the expected yield, though it is higher as compared to the higher reaches of the state. He said as compared to maize crop, which is also sown during the kharif season, paddy requires greater cost inputs like constant irrigation and labour for transplantation of seedlings.
A progressive farmer Ram Asra of Takka village said daily wages were rising, while labour was not readily available for specialised works like paddy transplantation.
Another farmer Bhagat Ram from Bhadsali village said the irrigation and public health department did not promote paddy cultivation as the crop required a lot of water, posing great stress on the ground water reserves. Further, he said pumping out water from personal tubewells using diesel sets was not viable.
Another main reason for the farmers to shun paddy cultivation is that exotic and expensive varieties such as various strains of Basmati rice have either not been developed for cultivation in the region or have failed to give the desired yield here.
Consequently, the local rice cultivated here does not fetch good price and is therefore not a lucrative business for the farmers.
Deputy director of the agriculture department HS Rana said the procurement rate of paddy from farmers by the Food Corporation of India was very low in the district.
He also pointed out that provision of adequate quantity of rice to people under the public distribution system was also a deterrent for farmers to cultivate paddy.
He added that farmers were switching over to cash crops like potato and cultivation of poplar trees under the agro forestry activities on land left out of paddy cultivation.
Meanwhile, as a last effort to revive paddy cultivation, the KVK has launched awareness and on-farm testing for propagating a manual paddy transplant.
Kumar said this manual device can transplant four or six seedlings at a time, cutting down labour cost drastically. He said a six-row prototype has also been developed by Palampur Agricultural University.
Courtesy : http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/HimachalPradesh/Water-scarcity-...
Kanjikuzhi grama panchayat has conceived a project to cultivate paddy in about 100 acres of land which was fallow for a long time.
The Chalungal paddy polder, where paddy cultivation was not being held for the last two decades, will witness paddy cultivation by the panchayat which arranged its own plan fund with assistance from Agriculture Department and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The total cost of the project is Rs. 36 lakh.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/kanjikuzhi-to...
Pushed by unsettling agricultural conditions and pulled by lucrative real estate deals, farmers across the famed and fertile Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu are selling their lands to real estate developers. In Amma Chatram, Marudhanallur, Tirunageswarm, Mathur, and in a host of other villages in Thanjavur and adjacent districts, farmlands are being converted to residential plots at a galloping rate.
The agricultural uncertainties have multiplied this year due to poor supply of water and the power situation, and real estate appears to be the exit option for farmers. Though worried about the situation, farmers are not complaining, and the reasons are not hard to find.
“Do not the let the green colour deceive you. The fields have crops but they are wilting. There is not enough water now to see the crops through,” S. Thangappan, a farmer in Maruthhuvakudi near Aduthurai, cautioned. “Three crops a year is a thing of the past. If we are lucky, we can have one good crop. An acre of agricultural land can normally yield about 30 to 35 bags of rice and our average profit would be Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7, 000 per acre. Mind you, this income comes after we harvest the crop and not every month. This year has been the worst and we would not be able to recover whatever we have spent,” he explained.
Thangappan would survive and may even continue with agriculture. He is a retired truck driver and gets a monthly pension. No such options exist for the 55-year-old Rajakannuof Manalmedu near Pasupathi Koil. He owns less than an acre of land close to the Kudamuruti river. He cannot spend money on drilling a bore to tide over the water crisis, nor does he have income from other sources. “Agriculture is no more economically sustainable,” he complained.
The story of Radhakrishnan, a farmer in Musakulam, a village tucked away from the main road and located about 5 km from Tiruvarur, is equally distressing. Though he owns two acres, Radhakrishnan lives a difficult life. Without water, the crops are wilting and his family of four lives off the free rice the State government gives through its ration shops.
“Had my field been near the main road, it would have been worth many lakhs of rupees. Real estate people would have lined up to buy it to convert it into housing plots. What to do we are stuck in this small village,” Radhakrishnan said.
He has reasons to lament so. At Semmozhi Nagar, a housing colony on the main road to Tiruvarur and 2 km away form Radhakrishnan’s farm, the developers have sold all the plots. Those who own are reselling them at a price of about Rs. 350 sq.ft. This makes the area, which was once a farmland, worth about Rs. 1.5 crore an acre. The land prices escalate further as one approaches the town. In contrast, Radhakrishnan’s two-acre farm is worth only about Rs. 2 lakh.
Even projects in small villages such as Amma Chatram, far away from Kumbakonam, the price of residential plots are as high as Rs. 575 sq.ft. as against Rs. 25 per sq.ft. for a farmland located a little further away. Such conversions have resulted not because of the organic growth of the place, but driven more by speculative investment. This is evidenced by the fact that only a few houses are built in the many colonies and vacant plots are regularly resold.
Mannachanallur, a village closer to the Kollidam river near Tiruchi, is an illustrative example to understand the consequence of farmland conversion. This place was once a well-known rice-bowl and the local variety was very popular. Over the years, farmlands have turned into housing plots and agricultural production has significantly dropped. Prabha Raman, a wholesale rice dealer in Tiruchi, points out that “it is difficult to find the local rice in the market.” He explained that “more than 70 per cent of what is sold here and in other places in Tamil Nadu is from Karantaka. They are cheap and preferred.”
In 2011, the government amended the regulations to make conversion of wetlands difficult. Any one wishing to change the land use had to get the permission of the district collector. The State government claimed that this would deter indiscriminate conversion, but, like other building rules, this too is followed in the breach.
A revenue official in Kumbokanam told that people hardly sought approval. Unauthorised conversions are rampant and a major source of local corruption. A seller near Kumbakonam was ingenious. He applied for approval to convert 9.5 cares of farmland to 140 residential plots. After receiving the approval, he quietly annexed the adjacent land and divided it to another 100 plots.
Between 1971 and 2006, land under paddy cultivation has reduced by 6 lakh hectares. The much awaited results of the 2011 agricultural census are expected to show further decline.
It may be unfair to stop the farmers while allowing urban dwellers to benefit from the land value appreciation, particularly when agriculture is becoming difficult to pursue. At the same time, as the State agricultural plan drafted by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 2009 projects an additional 7 lakh hectares has to be brought under cultivation by 2020 to meet the demand for rice. Addressing both the issues is going to be a tough challenge.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/fertile-farmlands-vanish-in-cauvery-delta-as-realty-deals-entice-farmers/article4313421.ece