The Thanjai District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association has called upon the State government to ensure transparency in the distribution of relief to cultivators of maize, who had suffered heavy losses due to the Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) pest attack on the crop.
Alleging that the lack of transparency in execution of various welfare schemes implemented by the State government has resulted in pilferage of public money, the secretary of the Association, Sundara Vimalanathan in a petition addressed to the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu government, demanded that at least the distribution of relief announced by the Chief Minister on the floor of the Assembly under Rule 110 to the cultivators of maize, should be in a transparent manner.
On earlier occasions, such as the recent Gaja relief measures, several deserving beneficiaries were left out as the relief distributing authorities never made the list of beneficiaries public, he alleged.
The Chief Minister has announced that ₹186 crore would be disbursed to 2.93 lakh farmers in the State, whose maize crop had been affected due to the pest attack. At least this time, the relief should be disbursed in a transparent manner and the list of beneficiaries with the survey numbers, affected area and the compensation sanctioned should be displayed at the office of the Village Administrative Officers and uploaded on the government website, he stressed.
Meanwhile, maize has been raised on about 215 hectares in Thanjavur district, out of which just around 6% of the total crop area had been affected by the Fall Armyworm (FAW) pest attack.
Crop raised in Kurunkulam in Thanjavur taluk and Enathi in Pattukottai taluk were found infected with the pest and pest control measures such as spraying of `metarzhium anisophilae’ and `beauveria bassiana’ for seed treatment, ploughing the soil with neem cakes were advocated to the farmers.
Further, the cultivators were advised to install pheromone traps in their fields where the trap contains the eco-friendly artificially produced pheromone to attract the FAW male moth and thereby check the multiplication of the pests, said Charumathi, Assistant Director, (Quality Control), Agriculture Department, Thanjavur.
The traps should be replaced once in three weeks and it would not be a burden for the cultivators since the trap was available at a very low cost, she added.
(source :The Hindu)