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Hit by crop failure, Tiruvannamalai farmers let cattle graze in paddy fields

Several rice producers at Arni and its adjoining places in the Tiruvannamalai district have let cattle graze the unproductive paddy.

Farmers, who had opted for the paddy variety-5 developed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, have been the worst-hit in the district as they could not get the yield even after 180 days have passed since sowing.

With an eye on a bumper production, they sowed this variety without aware of the suitable environmental conditions.

“I cultivated paddy variety-5 in my 8-acre farm. Now, about 180 days have passed. I could get only 3 bags (each weighing 75 kg) of yield per acre,” laments S Parthasarathi, a farmer of Ayyampettai.

As they could not afford to hire a machine to remove the unproductive crop, several farmers have let the cattle graze. “We are not able to hire a machine to remove the crop, so we are allowing cattle to graze,” another farmer says.

The farmers have incurred a loss in the range of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per acre due to crop loss.

Agriculture and Seed Certification department officials have already studied the crop with the help of scientists from the Agricultural College and Research Institute, Vazhavachanur, to find out the exact reasons for the crop failure.

“We have already conducted a field study to find out the reasons. Again two scientists are roped in for further investigations,” Deputy Director of Seeds, G Somu, said.

The well-grown paddy plants had suffered a failure of panicle initiation due to unsuitable environmental conditions.

The farmers had chosen the wrong season for the variety-5 paddy which is photosynthetic sensitive, the agricultural experts had said.

However, the DD claimed that farmers in certain places had taken better yield from this particular variety.

This variety was grown in 196 acres of land in certain parts of Tiruvannamalai including Arni, Polur, and Mandakolathur.

The affected farmers are expecting the government to provide them financial assistance to tackle the huge loss but officials said there is little scope for it.

“Since they had purchased the seed variety from a private dealer, the government can’t arrange them compensation for the loss,” a top officer of the Agriculture department said.

Source: newindianexpress.com