CHENNAI: Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam on Thursday announced that the State government has released Rs 182 crore towards arrears to sugarcane farmers through ten cooperative sugar mills and two public sector sugar mills as payment of Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for crushing season 2020-21. The minister made this announcement while replying to the discussion on the first exclusive budget for agriculture in the State Assembly.
Panneerselvam said steps were being taken to contain the mealybug menace in tapioca crops. Considering that the intensity of this pest was high in ten districts – Namakkal, Kallakurichi, Dharmapuri, Salem, Cuddalore, Erode, Tiruvannamalai, Karur, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur – and to protect the farmers against the loss of yield, Rs 2,000 per hectare assistance would be given to them. In all, Rs 1.78 crore would be given to 8,945 hectares of land where tapioca is being cultivated but under the attack of mealybug.
Regarding the crop insurance scheme, the Minister said last year, Rs 152 crore was paid towards premium. Of this, Rs 70 crore was paid by the State government. So far, 1.65 lakh farmers in 34 districts had received insurance claims of Rs 107 crore. He said steps were being taken to pay the compensation to the farmers in the districts of Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, and Mayiladuthurai in ten days. For 2020-21, around Rs 2,000 crore is expected as compensation for loss in Samba crops and the State government has paid its share, he said.