Samba prospects lie submerged
By G. Srinivasan
THANJAVUR, FEB. 2. The samba crop, ready for harvest, is inundated in thousands of acres of land in the Cauvery delta districts of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur following the unusual heavy downpour for the past three days.
Vast stretches of fields with the crop are under water. Heaps of harvested paddy are dumped on fields and on roadside, drenched in rain in Orathanadu.
Farmers said that even as they were harvesting, rain started and continued without any let-up. Hence they were not able to thrash the paddy. Many such heaps left on the fields were washed away.
Many farmers whose crops are now under water have lost hope of saving the grain. In Thanjavur district, samba was raised on 1.10 lakh hectares and Thaladi on 33,000 hectares. Harvest was completed only on 34,000 hectares and a major portion was to come for harvest only this month.
Those who had already harvested the crop are also not happy. In the DPC at Orathanadu, thousands of bags of samba paddy brought by farmers are heaped on either side of the centre. The paddy bags are exposed to rain. Though some farmers had used tarpaulin to protect the paddy bags, seepage of water in the ground has affected the paddy bags. They are now afraid that their paddy bags might be rejected on the basis of a high moisture content. Already DPCs are rejecting paddy bags on quality norms. Paddy with moisture content upto 18 per cent is now taken in DPCs. Farmers say that with the present rain the moisture content would go up and hence the Government should purchase paddy with a moisture content upto 25 per cent.
The Agriculture Minister, R. Jeevanandam, today surveyed the inundated samba crop in the delta areas.
Our Chennai Special Correspondent reports:
The CPI State committee has urged the Government to send a team of officials to the Cauvery delta to inspect the damage caused by the heavy unseasonal rain to the standing Samba crop.
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