Delta district farmers have claimed that unseasonal rains in the past few days have ruined paddy harvest and urged the Tamil Nadu government to open Direct Purchase Centres (DPC) and procure paddy with moisture content up to 20 per cent, to avoid exploitation by middlemen. During the farmers’ grievance meeting held at the district Collectorate here on Friday, General Secretary of the Federation of Farmers Associations of delta districts, Arupathy Kalyanam, submitted a memorandum to the state government in this regard. Stating that harvest was now underway in areas where crops were raised with pump set irrigation, Kalyanam pointed out that the unseasonal rains during the past few days in delta districts have been affecting harvest. “Paddy now contains moisture content. Middlemen are trying to exploit the situation and are procuring paddy at very low cost, about Rs 200 less than the minimum support price per quintal citing moisture content,” said Kalyanam. He urged the government to immediately open DPCs through Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and procure paddy with moisture content up to 20 per cent. “This will avoid exploitation by middlemen,” he said.
Referring to the submission made to the inter-ministerial central team that had visited the district early this week to assess the crop loss, Kalyanam appealed to the state government to seek release of compensation for crop damage from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) at the rate of Rs 30,000 per acre. The state government should also request the Centre to entrust the entire crop insurance scheme to the Agriculture Insurance Company of India and avoid private insurance companies, which are oriented only towards profit, he added. He also demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each, for the families of farmers, who have died in Tamil Nadu due to drought and crop loss.