Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced on Friday, 5 February, that crop loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks will be waived. This announcement is expected to benefit around 16.13 lakh farmers across the state. The chief minister made the announcement under Rule 110, in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on Friday.
Crop loans of around Rs 12,110 crore borrowed by farmers from cooperative banks will be waived, Palaniswami said, adding that farmers across the state have borne the brunt of cyclones Nivar and Burevi, and the excess rainfall in January. The chief minister had also earlier announced Rs 1,117 crore compensation for the damaged crops, which is expected to benefit around 11 lakh farmers.
In January, Tamil Nadu had received unprecedented rainfall across the state that led to massive crop damage. Between 1 January and 5 February, the state has received 708 percent excess rainfall, when compared to the normal levels during this period. The state received an average of 138.2 mm rains, as against the normal rainfall during this period of 17.1 mm.
Paddy crops, which were in the stage of harvesting, suffered widespread damage due to the rain.
Following this, a central team is currently touring the state to inspect the extent of damages suffered by farmers due to the rainfall.
In Pudukottai district alone, 40,996 hectares of paddy, 169 hectares of corn, 150 hectares of sesame, 2,238 hectares of groundnut and 35 hectares of cotton were damaged due to the rainfall in January, as per a press statement from the district administration.
In Thanjavur district, paddy crops over 1.01 lakh hectares, 880 hectares of dal and 3,700 hectares of groundnut were damaged due to the rain.
Similarly, in Virudhunagar district, 11,557 hectares of crops, including paddy, millets, oil-seeds, dal and cotton have been damaged due to the rain.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)