The Agriculture Department has identified around 4,039.83 hectares of irrigated and rain-fed crops that were damaged due to unseasonal and heavy rains in the district during December and January. The officials have submitted the details to the State government seeking financial assistance worth ₹802.41 lakh under the State Disaster Response Fund.
The heavy and unseasonal rains resulted in lodging of crops which were on the verge of harvest. At many places, the crops had started sprouting after being submerged in water for long.
Joint Director of Agriculture T. Vivekanandan said paddy, kodo millet (varagu), blackgram and groundnut were the major crops that were damaged in the rains, mostly in Madurai East, Madurai West, Chellampatti, Melur, Alanganallur and Vadipatti blocks.
As many as 7,462 affected farmers had been identified through the evaluation process. “Their bank account details have been submitted to the State government. Once the fund is sanctioned, it will be directly deposited into their accounts,” said Mr. Vivekanandan.
Each farmer would get a compensation of ₹20,000 per hectare for paddy which was raised through assured irrigation, and ₹10,000 per ha for rainfed crops – kodo millet, black gram and groundnut. “This brings the total sum of compensation for the district to ₹8.2 crore,” he said.
Farmers who have insured their crop will get the insurance money apart from the financial assistance from the government.
But the financial assistance of ₹20,000 per hectare would be insufficient to cover the losses incurred by the farmers, said N. Palanichamy, president of a farmers’ association. “The farmers demand at least ₹30,000 per acre as compensation to meet the losses caused by the rains,” he said.
Concurring with his viewpoint, G. Murugan, a farmer from Vadipatti block, said farmers had poor yields due to the damage caused by the rains. “Farmers who are harvesting paddy now are able to get only 13 or 14 bags of rice for an acre. This is extremely low as usually farmers get 30 to 40 bags. Hence, the financial assistance should be substantial so as to cover the losses,” he added.