Unseasonal rain boosts TN farmers' hopes of higher output

Power woes, shrinking acreage fail to dampen state's rising farm yield

Robust unseasonal rain has significantly improved the levels of water in the major irrigation reservoirs in Tamil Nadu even before the southwest monsoon giving hope to the state’s farmers of a decent production of seasonal crops, including rice.

There are 10 major irrigation reservoirs in Tamil Nadu, including Mettur, Bhavanisagar, Periyar, Amaravathi, Thirumurthy, Sathanur and Aliyarm, where water levels have gone up compared to the previous year. 

And despite the power woes of farmers and shrinking area of farm lands in the wake of real estate growth, the state's agricultural yield is seeing a rising curve.  According to the latest data available with the Public Works Department (PWD), the current storage of the 10 reservoirs is high. 

"Due to good rainfall over the southern state in the last one month, this year the production of various crops including paddy and pulses is expected to increase," a senior Agriculture Department official said.

Stating that his department is currently assessing the coverage area of crops across the state, the official said this season, the average area of paddy cultivation is 2.65 lakh hectares.

"With the available water in the reservoirs, lakes and tanks, the department has predicted that this year the area of paddy cultivation will be 3.5 lakh hectares, a rise of 35 per cent compared to last year," he added.

 "The water level in the dams will increase further once the southwest monsoon is active in Kerala and other neighbouring states," he added.

In Mettur, the lifeline of the delta farmers, the storage level as on date is 42.18 feet compared with last year's figure of only 18 feet, while Periyar water level is at 113.50 feet as compared with the previous year's storage of a little over 100 feet. 

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