Cane growers’ plea on open market sale

ERODE: The State Government should allow the sugarcane growers to sell their produce in the open market without obtaining a no-objection certificate from the respective sugar mills, farmers said.

Participating in their grievances redressal day meeting held here recently, the farmers pointed out that the government was implementing a rule, which mandates the sugarcane growers to get no-objection certificate from the respective sugar mills before selling their produce to the manufacturers of jaggery and sale of other products in the open market.


A majority of the sugar mills were refusing to provide no-objection certificate to the growers.

The government should scrap the rule immediately and allow the growers to sell their produce in the open market, farmers said.

A few farmers also complained that they were facing difficulties in obtaining crop loans from the banks.

They wanted the district administration to instruct the banks to extend crop loans to all the eligible farmers without unnecessary delays.

Collector R. Sudalaikannan, in his reply, assured that the administration would initiate efforts to redress the grievances of farmers quickly.

He also appealed to the farmers to co-operate with the district administration for the establishment of an integrated marketing complex for turmeric.


Threat to standing sugarcane, banana crops in Karur district

No rain and not opening of South Bank Canal cited

Farmers in the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram region might be affected

Ryots are apprehensive that opening of canal might get delayed

KARUR: Standing sugarcane and banana crop in thousands of acres across the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram regions of Karur district might get affected if there is no rain in the days to come and also if the South Bank Canal, that has remained shut for maintenance work, is not opened for irrigation in the near future.

Farmers in the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram region who have raised sugarcane and banana crops in their fields are apprehensive of saving their crop, leave alone having a good yield this harvest season. That is because they are forced to contend with twin problems — nature and man-made developments.

There is no rain in the desired and required pattern and quantum over the past few weeks.

The monsoon is playing truant and there has been some sporadic showers but that is not enough for the parched farm lands in the region.

Also, there has not been appreciable inflow into Mettur Dam, forcing the authorities to postpone its opening for the delta irrigation due to inadequate storage.

Though Karur farmers are not directly benefited by the opening of the dam, the flow in the river means the wells in the region get recharged and more groundwater will be available for the fields and crops, according to the Farmers Discussion Group convener Kulithalai A.V. Gopaladesikan.

Also the main feeder channel for the region — the South Bank Canal — has remained shut since May 1 following the regular closure period for maintenance work and also to facilitate the construction of drop shutters at Marudur. It is an essential and long-awaited work but could consume the best of July and is forcing the Public Works Department officials to prolong the closure period of the canal. They are simply utilising the duration when the Mettur Dam remained shut for want of water to undertake repair and construction works in South Bank Canal.

The officials have promised to end closure period on July 20 but farmers are apprehensive that it might get delayed.

Mr. Gopaladesikan observes that in case of any delay in onset of monsoon and occurrence of rainfall, then sugarcane crop roots that have grip on super surface would be affected badly, affecting yield and weight. In young crops, withering might take place, while in the aged crops there could be loss of weight, he points out.

Banana crop

Likewise in the standing banana crop germination of bunches will be hit hard and get choked resulting in direct loss to growers. When cane and banana are fetching a reasonably good price, any factor affecting productivity and yield could be detrimental to the farmers who could only pray to nature and hope the officials complete the construction activity in time and reopen South Bank Canal.


Flamingoes descend on Agra: Is this a global-warming phenomenon?

AGRA: What are flamingoes doing in Agra at this time of the year? This is the question plaguing environmentalists here after nearly 500 of the gregarious wading birds descended on Agra’s Keitham lake last week.

“I think the flamingoes have lost their way. This is the first time that so many of them have come to Agra. And at this time of the year, it raises some perplexing questions. Is this a global warming-related phenomenon, or has the winter advanced in north Europe? So many questions needing answers,” says Dr KS Rana, environmentalist and a professor of natural sciences.

Ravi Singh, a green farmer and eco-activist of the Barauli Aheer block sees a disturbing trend. “These birds have come looking for nesting spots. Keitham provides good food, the wetland has enough algae to provide plankton for the birds. But why Agra and at this time of the year?” Singh asked.

The forest department’s Uttham RB, in charge of the Keitham lake, said: “The lake provides the right ambience and nesting environment with enough soft mud and adequate feed, but I doubt if they would nest here or stay for long, because the lake’s water level is set to go up once the rain starts. Their nests would be destroyed,” Singh told IANS.

“These birds prefer the Rann of Kutch for nesting. But why are they not going there? Do they fear any problem?… there are no answers at the moment,” he added.

Experts also surmise that these could even be migratory birds, from across the Himalayas or from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

“But if the birds have come from distant shores, it could mean an early winter in the north,” conjectures a researcher in environment, Swabha Takshak, associated with TERI and now conducting a survey on pollution in the Yamuna river near the lake.

Dr R.P. Bharti, chief zonal forester, thinks “it’s the level of humidity and the stable temperature that suits these birds, that has attracted them to the lake. The birds usually come from Afghanistan. Some birds have also been sighted in Bharatpur’s Keoladeo Ghana wildlife sanctuary.”

“Such freak patterns would become more frequent in future. Till some years ago, there used to be more cranes (Saras) in Mathura, but now Mainpuri district has many times more cranes,” he added.

Farmers around the Keitham reservoir, 20 km from the city, however, feared the flamingoes were harbinger of bad news: a poor monsoon this year.


Release water in Kalingarayan Canal

ERODE: Members of the Kalingarayan Pasana Sabhi has urged the district administration to take steps to release water in Kalingarayan Canal from July 1.

The Public Works Department is carrying out repairs and maintenance works in the canal. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development provided a sum of Rs. 12 crore for these works.


Since the works are progressing at a snail’s pace, members of the association wanted the administration to postpone the remaining works to the next year and release water from July 1.

This would help the farmers depending on the canal take up cultivation. The members adopted a resolution to this effect at a meeting held here recently.


Low dam water storage level worries farmers

In Kanyakumari district

Nagercoil: Farmers in different parts of Kanyakumari district are upset over inadequate storage of water in all the four dams including Pechipparai, Perunchani, Chittar I and Chittar II. They have expressed their concern over raising paddy crops.

Heavy rain accompanied by wind lashed different parts of the district, particularly in the catchment areas of the district on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. However, the sky remained overcast in few parts of the district.

The heavy rain in the last two days brought cheers to the farming community, particularly in the tail end areas of the district.

Water from these dams is used by farmers for irrigation purpose in both Kumbapoov and Kannipoov seasons covering 79,000 acres of area. In the meantime water from Pechipparai Dam was released on June 7 for the irrigation purpose and farmers depending on Thovalai, Ananthanar and Nanjil Nadu Puthen channel have already undertaken agriculture operations.

Farmers usually not depend on water from these dams for irrigation purpose during Kannipoov season. Instead, they use rain water. However, owing to inadequate rain during the southwest monsoon so far, water level is poor when compared to last year.


Due to heavy wind, the roofs of the three houses were damaged at Kunnuvilai near Vadaserry when a tree fell on it. Similarly, a big tree was also uprooted and fell on the house of Raja Guru of Muthu Nagar near Aralvoimozi. In this incident the wife of Raja Guru , Lalitha sustained injuries and was hospitalised.


Bereft of water

Barren: A farmer walking on the dry Sakkarakottai tank in Ramanathapuram. Photo: L. Balachandar


Farmers question selection of dams for water supply in Tuticorin

Grievance day conducted; Collector rules out favouritism in water supply

Tuticorin: Farmers from various parts of the district, who gathered at a grievance redressal day meeting at Collectorate here on Thursday, raised apprehensions over the supply of water for agriculture .

Tamirabharani water is being channelised to 16, 510 acres of farm lands for irrigation through 15 dams in Srivaikuntam, Alwarthirunagari and Tiruchendur blocks. They alleged that water was being supplied to the blocks in a biased manner.

The farmers questioned the selection of 15 dams among 53 for the supply of water. Presiding over the programme, Collector G. Prakash ruled out any favouritism. Meanwhile, a proposal for compensation for damaged banana crop in the recent storm was sent to the government.

Lauding the efforts of the farmers, Mr. Prakash presented cash prizes in honour of their achievements made at a district level crop yield competition. Seetha Lakshmi, wife of Kannan, Akka Nayakkanpatti received a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 for getting a yield of 7, 835 kilograms of maize per hectare.

Jayapandi, son of Pattani Nadar from Kattunayakanpatti of Ottapidaram taluk, who received a sum of Rs. 5,000, got 6,985 kilograms of maize per hectare. As far as the yield of ragi was concerned, Mr. Prakash handed over a prize of Rs. 10,000 to A. Murugesan of Govindanpatti, Kayathar block, who raised 4,615 kilograms per hectare.

Mandhirathai, wife of Ramakrishnan, Kaapulingampatti, Kayathar, received Rs. 5,000 for the yield of 3,715 kilograms of ragi per hectare. Deputy Director of Agriculture, T. Ranjith Singh Dhanraj, Central Government schemes, Amuthan, Executive Engineer, Agriculture Engineering, A. Dhanasingh David, PA to Collector (Agriculture), officials from the Department of Horticulture and others were present.