Farmers forced to purchase water for saving crops

By TheHindu on 16 Apr 2017 | read
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14 Apr 2017

The severe drought conditions prevailing in the district has forced the farmers to spend a huge sum of money for purchasing water for saving the standing crops.

It is mainly the horticulture farmers who have been fighting hard to save the standing mango, coconut, guava, lemon, coriander trees, gundu malli and arali flower plants in various blocks in the district.

Farmers have raised horticultural crops in a large area in Panamarathupatti and the surrounding villages of Pemanur, Kuralnatham, Kammalapatti, Thumbalpatti, Nilavarapatti etc. The farmers planted fresh plants of various horticultural crops during last season expecting good monsoon. With the failure of rainfall, the farmers have been fighting with their back to the wall for the past few months to save the standing crops.

The government authorities at present are involved in the work of disbursement of compensation to farmers who suffered financial loss due to the crop failure following drought. But the farmers whose standing crops have started withering now do not stand a chance of getting any assistance, as the assessment work had already been completed.

The farmers have to spend much from their pocket for purchasing the water. T. K. Jayaraman of Peramanur village says that he is purchasing 7,000 litre tanker for Rs. 700 to water the coconut, guava, and lemon plants in his farm spread over in about one acre. He has to purchase three tankers every week by spending about Rs. 2,100. Besides, he has to pay wages for the farm workers for watering the plants.

According to A.R. Shanmugam, president of the Panamarathupatti Yerigal Pathukappu Sangam, some of the farmers of Panamarathupatti and surrounding villages were using bore well water for watering the plants. With bore-wells going dry, they too are forced to purchase water. He called upon the district administration to come to the assistance of the horticulture farmers for saving the standing crops.

With many mango trees having already withered out, the farmers of Varagambadi, a village famous for mango farms, have been struggling to save the sanding trees. Mango trees stand on about 1,000 acres in this area in the farms owned by about 500 farmers. Even though the farming activity was affected to a big extent in this area due to the drought, the mango farmers were pinning their hope on a good crop.

The failure of north-east monsoon had adverse impact on the flowering pattern of the mango trees.

With the intention of saving the standing trees, the farmers have been procuring water in tankers from Ayodhyapattanam, Udaiyapatti, Ammapettai and watering the trees. Those farmers of Varagambadi who could not afford to spend for the water tankers, have already abandoned farming and have become daily wage earners for their livelihood.

 Syed Muthahar Saqaf