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No Machine,Manpower to Harvest Paddy

Paddy farmers in the eastern part of the district are fretting over the shortage of labourers and non-availability of harvest machines.

Owing to it, paddy crop in over 80 hectares of Pambakkuda block panchayat, ready for harvest, is withering. According to farmers, paddy ought to be harvested by this week and if immediate steps are not taken it would lead to heavy loss.

C K Prakash, president, Karshakasangam Koothattukulam area, said it is not easy to find labourers as they have opted for other jobs. The authorities of the local bodies instead of taking immediate steps remain apathetic to the issue, he said.

The two harvest machines available at the block panchayat were defunct as against the requirement of five and no steps have been taken to repair them. The issue will intensify as paddy crop in over 830 hectares in the block panchayat is getting ready for harvest.

“The authorities should mobilise as many harvest machines as possible from other panchayts. If the block panchayat authority continues its apathy towards the issue, we will stage protests,” he said.

Isha Madavan, president, Pambakkuda block panchayat, said paddy crops in the area, including Piravom, Pambakkuda and nearby areas attain maturity at same time which causes hurdles. The block panchayat will take all possible steps to tackle the issue. We are planning to take machines on lease from nearby panchayats, she said.

She noted that labourers were taking up other jobs which has led to a shortage.

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Paddy farmers seek turn system

Farmers in tail-end areas of Kanyakumari district are concerned over the depletion of storage in all dams — Pechipparai, Perunchani, Chittar-I, Chittar-II and Poigai. They have demanded immediate implementation of the turn system as it will be difficult to save the standing paddy crop in the prevailing water scenario.

Farmers in east Kanyakumari, which includes Thovalai, Chenbakaramanputhur, a portion of Anjugramam, Azagappapuram Kottaram, Myladi, Tamaraikulam, Asaripallam, Rajakkamangalam and Muttom, cultivate paddy in over 19,000 acres. As the crop in tail-end areas, which has attained the ‘milky stage,’ needs more water, farmers have urged the district administration to introduce the ‘turn system’ at the earliest.
A view of Pechchiparai dam in Kanyakumari district. File Photo
Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday, the chairman of Kodayar Irrigation Project (Water Resource Organisation), A. Vinsanto, pointed out that the government used to issue a special order every year on March 1 for water release in Padmanabhapuram-Puthanar channel up to March 15 for devotees to take holy dip during Mondaicadu Bhagavathy Amman Masi Kodai Viza. Water also would be released in Thovalai and Ananthanar channels during the Mondaicadu festival.

This step will benefit farmers in tail-end areas.

While paddy raised around the dam head needs water for only 15 days more, in the tail-end areas, it requires a month’s more of water.

Thus, farmers in Kottaram and surrounding areas have appealed to the PWD officials to implement turn system immediately, before the special GO is issued.

Over the years, cultivable area in the district has shrunk from 35,000 hectares to 25,000 hectares owing to conversion of land into sites for houses. In the absence of remunerative price for paddy, farmers have also switched to cash crops like banana and rubber.

Though the district administration has taken steps to create awareness of the need to protect waterbodies under the ‘Nanneer Kumari’ initiative, it is yet to take off due to poor cooperation from farmers, according to officials in the Department of Agriculture.

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Rice procurement likely to miss 34-mt target

The rice procurement drive by government agencies for the 2013-14 marketing season (October-September) is likely to fall below the target of 34 million tonne (mt).

Food ministry officials attribute the reasons for the slow progress in procurement from farmers to mainly late arrival of the kharif crop in eastern states and adverse impact of cyclone on key rice-growing areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

Besides, the slow pace of rice procurement has been also attributed to active participation of private traders in the market due to lower kharif output. As per latest data, with the exception of Chhattisgarh, all other key states that contribute to the government's rice procurement drive have recorded lower volume of purchase this year compared to last year.

Till Tuesday, FCI and the state government-owned agencies purchased more than 21.5 mt of rice from the farmers compared to 23.3 mt last year. This decline in total volume of procurement is more than 8% and is expected to widen in the next few months.

“Kharif crop arrivals in eastern states have been slower this year while a chunk of crop area was adversely impact by cyclone,” an agriculture ministry official told FE.

The government agencies have purchased 8.1 mt in Punjab, 4.6 mt in Chhattisgarh, 2.4 mt in Haryana and 2.4 mt rice in Andhra Pradesh, as per latest data.

Prior to the formal commencement of rice procurement in October, 2013, the food ministry, in consultation with states, set targets for each of the key contributing states.

Punjab and Andhra Pradesh were estimated to contribute 8.3 mt and 6 mt, respectively, the other key contributors to the central pool would be Chhattisgarh (5.5 mt), Haryana (2.3 mt), Uttar Pradesh (2.7 mt), Orissa (2.6 mt) and West Bengal (2.2 mt).

With the exception of Chhattisgarh, where state government has purchased more than 4.6 mt till now, in all the other key growing states --- Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa – the volume of rice procurement from farmers have been less than the target.

In Punjab and Haryana, where procurement is complete, the state agencies have purchased 8.1 mt and 2.4 mt of rice this season against 8.5 mt and 25.9 mt last year. Due to an untimely storm in many districts of Punjab in September, rice procurement was marginally lower in the state.

The biggest fall in procurement was witnessed in the cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh, where state agencies purchased 2.4 mt till Tuesday against 2.9 mt last year. The government's rice stock with the FCI and other agencies was reported at 14.6 mt at the start of this month, which is more than double of strategic reserve and buffer stock norms.

The government had approved a minimum support price for 2013-14 at Rs 1,310 per quintal for common paddy rice, which is an increase of about 5% from around Rs1,250 a quintal last year.

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धान की धीमी खरीद को लेकर किसान मायूस

सोनभद्र : जनपद में कछुआ चाल चल रही धान खरीद को लेकर किसानों में मायूसी व्याप्त है। खरीद कार्य बंद होने में मात्र 25 दिन से भी कम का समय बचा हुआ है और अभी तक जिला प्रशासन लक्ष्य से कोसों दूर है।

निर्धारित 45 हजार मीट्रिक टन के सापेक्ष संबंधित विभाग अभी तक 50 प्रतिशत भी खरीद नहीं कर पाया है। किसान मंगला प्रसाद, सुलोचन सिंह, विनोद शुक्ल ने कहा कि हम लोग क्रय केंद्रों पर चक्कर काटते-काटते थक गए हैं अब तो अपने उपज को बाजार में औने-पौने दाम पर बेचना ही मुनासिब है। जिला प्रशासन पर उपेक्षा का आरोप लगाते हुए कहा कि जिलाधिकारी ने पूरे खरीद के दौरान लगातार उदासीन रवैया अपना रहा, जो गलत है।

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'Need to try non-conventional methods in agri'

The country has to unlock the potential of non-conventional methods, including new hybrid variety seeds, genetically modified crops and effective crop management system, to meet the future foodgrain requirements, said Padma Shri EA Siddiq, former vice chancellor of agri-research body ANGRAU.

"With the climate change already costing farmers with decreasing crop yields (up to 10 per cent) and new crop land constraints, efforts should be made to develop hybrid varieties that can withstand physical stresses, including water submergence during severe monsoon, drought and high salinity," said Siddiq, who is now honorary director of Institute of Biotechnology, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad.

Supported by the Melinda Gates Foundation, world scientists are re-engineering photosynthesis aspect in C3 cultivated variety of rice to combat the affect of climate change. "The new C4 rice variety would see changes in anatomy, biochemistry, and would see increased yields of up to 50 per cent and improved nitrogen use efficiency," Siddiq said.

The foundation is also helping scientists develop high-yielding Green Super Rice (GSR) suited for tropical countries of Asia.

"Till now, the irrigated area, accounting for only 35 per cent of the total cropped area was acting as an anchor to our claims of higher food production. However, hybrid technology has to be utilised to achieve higher production in the larger rain-fed area," he said.

According to him, we could simply add 30-40 million tonnes (mt) to our foodgrains production by employing hybrid technology varieties in the rain-fed area without bringing additional area into the system.

"In India, we've under-exploited hybrid technology in rice, mustard seed and pigeon pea among others. We have to try crop biotechnology to overcome difficulties that cannot be mitigated by conventional approach," he said.

He said China had already embarked upon a mega project for breeding super rice varieties and hybrids for raising yield in paddy to 15 tonne per hectare. China has employed hybrid varieties of rice in 20 million ha since 1990s, as against India's 2.01 million ha, by taking advantage of parental lines of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines.

The country had to produce around 460 mt of foodgrains by 2050, up from the current 257 mt, he said. India's total food grain production rose from 51 mt in 1950 to 257 mt now. Despite this, around 240 million people in the country do not get proper access to food. To adjust this gap, the country has come up with the Food Security Act to provide foodgrains at subsidised rates.

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India Winter Rice Crop Planting Area Reaches 2.1 Million Hectares; Up 40% from Last Year

Planting area under India's Rabi (winter) rice crop (November – April) stands at around 2.1 million hectares as of January 31, 2014, which is up about 40% from about 1.5 million hectares recorded during same time in 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Rabi rice crop accounts for around 10% – 15% of total annual rice production in India.

India’s total Rabi planting area (including rice and other grains) stands at about 64.3 million hectares as of January 31, 2014, up about 6% from about 60.8 million hectares recorded during this time last year.

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Mahyco & Arcadia develop ‘salt-tolerant rice’

The Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) and Arcadia Biosciences of the US, an agricultural technology company, have announced a key milestone in the development of “salt-tolerant rice”.

Arcadia's Salt Tolerance (ST) technology enables plants to produce increased yields under saline water and soil conditions, expanding the range of usable acreage for crop production and reducing requirements for fresh water, said a statement in Chennai.

In achieving this key milestone, Mahyco demonstrated that Arcadia’s ST technology significantly increased plant growth and yield in multiple rice lines developed by Mahyco. Rice varieties incorporating ST technology showed substantial increases in key plant performance measures.

Rice is the world’s second-largest crop, grown on 161 million hectares annually.

It plays a critical role in food security for more than half of the world’s population. India, with a population of more than 1.2 billion, is the second most populous country in the world, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that 221 million people in India, or about one-fifth of the population, are undernourished.

As such, there is significant pressure on Indian farmers to increase agricultural productivity.

"With this milestone, we are closer to bringing the benefits of this technology to farmers who are challenged with increased salinity in their farms and improving overall productivity of the crop," said Usha Zehr, chief technology officer of Mahyco.

"With the growing demands on fresh water and land resources for agriculture, the ability to maintain high crop yields in salt impacted environments is critical,” said Eric Rey, president and chief executive officer of Arcadia Biosciences.

"This key technology is just one of a number of improvements Arcadia and Mahyco are developing together to increase farm productivity and reduce the overall environmental impact of agriculture in the region," he added.

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TRY(R) 3 variety paddy suited for non-sodic soil

A paddy variety meant for the sodic soil in Manikandam block has recorded better yield in non-sodic soil.

The TRY(R) 3, a paddy variety released by the TNAU – Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute to suit the alkaline soil in Manikandam block, has proved its mettle in non-alkaline soil. The TNAU – ADACRI was founded in Manikandam block, about 25 years ago, to evolve and release paddy varieties suited for the alkaline soil. Soil in around 5,000 hectares in the block have turned alkaline affecting the yield.
Farmers and farm experts participating in the crop contest event, in Mannachanallur near Tiruchi.— Photo: A. Muralitharan
N. Periyasamy, farmer from Manachanallur, has raised the variety in his one acre in his fields. The ‘field day’ celebrated on Tuesday when the crop was harvested and on Friday, the farmer along with scientists from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra found that the yield was 13.5 tonnes a hectare. “The grain weighs 27 grams per 1,000 grains indicating the high yield,” says A. Sakunthalai, Project Coordinator KVK. The soil is less sodic nature, she said.The Kendra not only provided seeds but also guided the farmer with crop cultivation techniques. “A sustained follow-up on the cultivation practice, supply of Dhaincha seeds and prevention of leaf folder disease were some of the measures adopted by us to achieve a higher yield,” she said.

R. Pandiyarajan, Dean of TNAU – ADACRI, said that the variety, yielded 5.1 tonnes in sodic soil of Manikandam. The grain weight was 23 grams. He said that the variety could be raised during the thaladi season too.

Gururaj Singh, Joint Director of Agriculture and officials ascertained the quality of paddy.



Farmers seek more mobile paddy procurement centres

7 mobile units, with one for each taluk, currently operational Farmers who spoke at the agriculturists grievances day meeting held here on Thursday, appealed to the district administration to take immediate steps to sanction more mobile centres for procuring paddy from farmers. They said that there was a strong case for starting more mobile units particularly to benefit farmers of Valangaiman.

Initiating a discussion, G.Sundaramurthy, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said that a large number of farmers in and around Valangaiman had harvested hundreds of bags of paddy and urged the district administration to start more mobile units for procuring it.

S. Natarajan, District Collector, who presided over the meeting, said that presently seven mobile units were functioning in the district at the rate of one unit for each taluk to procure paddy from farmers possessing more than 300 bags each.

There was an overwhelming response to the scheme and so far 1.20 lakh tonnes of paddy worth Rs.169 crore had been procured.

Pointing out that the district has registered a good yield in paddy, he said the average daily procurement stood at 13,466 tonnes. He assured the farmers that steps would be taken for starting more mobile units.

A section of farmers expressed concern over the exclusion of their villages from crop insurance indemnity for the loss suffered during the 2012.

They said that the procedures being followed for crop cutting experiment should be restructured to benefit genuine farmers who had lost their crops. Sathappan, a paddy grower of Needamangalm, wanted inclusion of all farmers under the scheme.

The Collector assured the farmers of necessary action. The Collector said that steps have been taken to improve water table in the district under various schemes. A sum of Rs. 20 crore has been sanctioned for setting up 1,335 artificial recharge structures in the Cauvery and Vennar rivers.

P.Manimaran, District Revenue Officer, A. Azhagirisamy, Senior Regional Manager, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and Dhanasekaran, Joint Director of Agriculture, were present.



వరి రైతులకు వడగండ్ల పరిహారం రూ. కోటి 24 లక్షలు మంజూరు

వరంగల్ అగ్రికల్చర్/కలెక్టరేట్ (టీమీడియా): జిల్లాలో మొట్టమొదటి సారి వరి రైతులకు మాత్రమే వడగండ్ల పరిహా రం అందుతోంది. అగ్రికల్చర్ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ ఎట్టకేలకు వడగండ్ల వానకు నష్టపోయిన వరి రైతులకు పరిహారాన్ని అం దించేందుకు ముందుకు వచ్చింది. నాలుగైదు సంవత్సరాలుగా వడగండ్లవానకు నష్టపోయిన రైతులకు ఇప్పటి వ ర కు పరిహారమివ్వలేదు. 2013 రబీలో ఏప్రిల్‌లో కురిసిన వ డగండ్ల వానకు జిల్లాలోని 14 మండలాల్లో పంటలకు నష్టం వాటిల్లినట్లు ఆ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ గుర్తించింది. వాతావరణ స్థితిగతులను గుర్తించేందుకు వాతావరణ బీమా శాఖ రాష్ట్ర వ్యాప్తంగా అన్ని సబ్‌స్టేషన్లలో వాతావరణాన్ని లెక్కించే యంత్రాలను ఏర్పాటు చేసింది.

వాటి ఆధారంగానే వడగండ్లను, వాతావరణాన్ని లెక్కించారు. దీంతో ఆయా మండలాల్లోని రైతులకు పరిహారమిచ్చేందుకు అగ్రికల్చర్ బీమా కంపెనీ ముందుకు వచ్చింది. జిల్లా వ్యాప్తంగా 1357 మంది వరి రైతులకు రూ. కోటి 24 లక్షల రూపాయల పరిహారాన్ని మంజూరు చేసింది. అందులో భాగంగా బుధవారం బ్యాం కు ఖాతాలు లేని బచ్చన్నపేట మండలానికి చెందిన 240, ధర్మసాగర్‌కు చెందిన ఒకరికి, పరకాలకు చెందిన ముగ్గురు రైతులకు రూ. 19లక్షల 65వేల రూపాయలను పరిహార చె క్‌లను లబ్ధిదారులకు కలెక్టర్ కిషన్ నేరుగా అందజేశారు.

14 మండలాలు, 1357 మంది రైతులు..
జిల్లాలో 14 మండలాలు వడగండ్లవానకు గురైనట్లుగా గుర్తించారు. అందులో బచ్చన్నపేట, దే వరుప్పుల, స్టేషన్‌ఘనపూర్, హసన్‌పర్తి, జనగామ, మద్దూరు, మహబూబాబాద్, మంగపేట, మరిపెడ, మొగుళ్లప ల్లి, పర్వతగిరి, రఘునాథ్‌పల్లి, రాయప ర్తి, తాడ్వాయి, జపఫర్‌గడ్ మండలాల లు ఉన్నాయి. పరహారాన్ని పూర్తిగా వరి రైతులకే అందిస్తున్నట్లు అగ్రికల్చర్ ఇ న్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ డీజీఓం నాగార్జున టీమీడియాకు తెలిపారు. బ్యాంకు ఖాతాలు తీసుకున్న రైతుల కు పరిహారాన్ని నేరుగా ఖాతాల్లోనే జమ చేస్తున్నట్లు స్పష్టం చేశారు. కార్యక్రమంలో వ్యవసాయ శాఖ జాయింట్ డైరెక్టర్ రామారావు, అ గ్రికల్చరల్ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ ఆఫ్ ఇండియా అధికారులు, రైతులు, తదితరులు పాల్గొన్నారు

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