The scheme aims to provide drones to 15,000 selected Women SHGs during the period from 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose.
The Delta farmers of Tamil Nadu, including those from the rice bowl of Thanjavaur, are preferring short-term and midterm Samba paddy crops as Karnataka was not providing the required quota of water from the Cauvery River.
The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee( CWRC) had directed the Karnataka water resources department to release 3000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. However the Karnataka government is moving the Supreme Court against the order leading to desperation among the Samba paddy farmers.
Narayanan Subramanian, a farmer in Thanjavur while speaking to IANS said, “The water level in Mettur dam is presently 38.02 ft which was 120 ft during the same period last year. The difference is huge and this is due to Karnataka not releasing the required quota of Cauvery water to our state and this has almost crushed all the hopes of Delta farmers. We are now planning to go for midterm and short-term Samba paddy cultivation and almost all paddy farmers have skipped the long-term Samba paddy cultivation.”
He, however, said that long-term Samba paddy cultivation, which will take 150-160 days to harvest, will give good yield and be climate resilient. The midterm Samba cultivation can be harvested after 125 to 135 days while short-term varieties can be harvested after 100 to 115 days.
The farmers are also expecting the arrival of North East monsoon for Samba cultivation in several areas of Delta districts as the ground water table is also depleting due to the shortage of Cauvery water.
P.R. Manikumaran, General Secretary, Tamil Farmers Association while speaking to IANS said, “The farmers are confused in Delta districts as to whether they should go for midterm or short-term Samba or stick on to long-term even though the sowing period of long-term is almost over. We are now expecting the North East monsoon to give us necessary water for our paddy cultivation.”
A senior official with Tamil Nadu agriculture department told IANS that about 45,000 hectares of the seasonal crop could be cultivated in Tiruvarur district alone if Cauvery water is received according to the proposed quota.