The kuruvai package, announced by the State government to encourage farmers to take up cultivation using groundwater sources in Delta areas in the wake of delay over opening the Mettur dam owing to poor storage, has come as a tool for promoting mechanisation of agriculture.
As per the package, the Agricultural Engineering Department will take care of the entire expenditure on 1,500 acres, out of 7,000 acres, for paddy transplantation using transplanters. Besides this, all farmers who take up kuruvai cultivation in the delta areas of the district will be given Rs. 315 an acre for buying bio fertilizers and micro nutrients. It has been proposed to credit the amount to farmers through fund transfer method.
It is expected that the government move will save overhead cost to the tune of Rs. 3,000 per farmer. The farmers will have to bear other expenditures such as field preparation, seedling cost, basal fertilizer, harvest, and others.
“Transplantation cost accounts for about 20 per cent of the cost on paddy cultivation per acre. It is good that the government absorbs the overhead on transplantation,” said a farmer of Sengaraiyur near Anbil.
Collector K.S. Palanisamy, who signalled the transplantation of paddy by operating a transplanter, said the Government had allocated Rs. 60 lakh for the kuruvai package in Tiruchi district. Of this, Rs. 37.5 lakh would be spent for transplanting paddy. The transplanters engaged by the Agricultural Engineering Department would complete the transplation within two days. Since machines would be engaged for transplantation, it would spread the message of mechanisation of farming operation. R. Pandiarajan, Joint Director of Agriculture (in-charge), said six blocks such as Lalgudi, Anthanallur, Thiruverumbur, Musiri, Mannachanallur, and Pullambadi had been selected for implementing the kuruvai package. Out of 7,500 acres, Lalgudi alone would account for 6,500 acres as it had many filter points.
V. Rajendran, Executive Engineer, Agricultural Engineering, said besides the transplanters owned by the department, private transplanters would be engaged for paddy transplantation. Tenders had been finalised and 62 private operators had been selected for the task. It would be completed within two weeks.
However, some farmers felt that all farmers might not get the benefit of transplantation cost as this component of kuruvai package would cover just 1,500 acres out of 7,500 acres. Hence, the government should come forward to extend the benefit to all farmers.