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4.28 lakh-tonne target fixed for paddy season

Special Correspondent

Ramanathapuram district surpassed target set last year



pre-monsoon effort:Collector V. Arun Roy (third from right) looking at a stall put up for a campaign at Uthirakosamangai in Ramanathapuram district on Thursday.

RAMANATHAPURAM: The Department of Agriculture has set a target to produce 4.28 lakh tonnes of paddy in the district in the coming paddy season.

Since the district has surpassed the last year target of bringing 1.30 lakh hectare under paddy cultivation, a higher target has been set. Around 1.34 lakh hectares were brought under paddy cultivation last year.

Collector V. Arun Roy, who inaugurated a pre-monsoon campaign at Uthirakosamangai, told The Hindu that officials had been instructed the surpass the target this year also. Potential to expand the area of cultivation should be studied and exploited. He hoped that the production and as well as productivity target would be achieved. Pre-monsoon programmes and field visits should be organised across the district to motivate farmers to achieve the target and to ensure that they followed latest farming techniques.

Mr. Roy said that 2,500 tonnes of paddy seeds were available with the cooperative societies and private traders for sale to farmers. Similarly, 417 tonnes of paddy seeds and 80 tonnes of pulses, millets and oil seeds had also been kept in all agriculture extension centres for sale at a subsidised rate.

S. Rajendiran, Joint Director of Agriculture (in-charge), said that as per the direction of the government, officials had been asked to collect data from small and tiny farmers. Details of land holdings, cultivation methods, percentage of farmers who followed modern cultivation techniques, average production and irrigation methods would be collected to devise a plan of action for increasing food production and productivity.

Z. Kamaludeen, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Thiruppullani, said that the pre-monsoon campaign would be intensified in the block since onset of north-east monsoon was only three months away.

S.S. Shaik Abdullah, Agricultural Officer, State Schemes, said that concerted efforts would be taken to make more farmers follow modern cultivation techniques.

The farmers would be sensitised on bio-fertilizers, System Rice Intensification method, and methods to reduce risk of pest attack.

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