Despite concerns, summer paddy cultivation acreage in Thanjavur to rise by 20 per cent

By N. Ramesh
Despite concerns over the availability of a three-phase power supply and delayed thaladi cultivation, short-term summer paddy cultivation in the district is expected to be taken up on 30,000 acres this time as against 25,000 acres last year, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department officials said.

Besides the regular kuruvai, samba and thaladi seasons, farmers in the district with energised pump set facilities to draw groundwater usually go for the short-term summer paddy cultivation. As of now, the farmers in the old Cauvery delta belt like Tiruppanandal, Tiruvidaimarudur, Kumbakonam and Papanasam have taken up the paddy cultivation with the use of groundwater, agriculture department officials said.
So far transplantation of summer paddy has been over in around 3,000 acres, they pointed out. T Murugesan of Maruthuvakkudi said many farmers in his village have started raising nurseries for the cultivation. “We will be transplanting them in the next 15-20 days,” he said, adding that most farmers in the area are going in for the CO-51 variety which is short-term of 105 days.

While there was a problem in the three-phase power supply a few days ago it has been set right now, he pointed out. S Kumar, a farmer from Papanasam, said, “A section of farmers has been preferring summer paddy cultivation over kuruvai season, as during the time of harvest of the latter, the northeast monsoon would set in and often affect the crop.
Besides, summer paddy will not be affected by pest attacks due to the scorching sun during the cultivation period.” In some areas like Tiruvaiyaru there is, however, a delay in the commencement of summer cultivation. “This year thaladi cultivation was delayed and even farmers who have already harvested the seasonal paddy are in a dilemma as to whether go for summer paddy cultivation or not,” S Sivakumar of Manathidal said.
Uncertainty over the availability of three-phase supply for the required hours daily and rumours that summer paddy will not be procured in DPCs are causes for the dilemma, he added. While agriculture department officials expect the acreage of summer paddy cultivation to go up to 30,000 acres this year, they pointed out that they have been advising farmers to go in for pulses like black gram after samba paddy harvesting, as the water requirement is less for pulses as compared to paddy. However, farmers prefer paddy as they can sell it off to the direct purchase centres (DPCs).
This article has been republished from The New Indian Express