CM Edappadi K Palaniswami announced relief for farmers after crops hit by Fall Armyworm
The Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanswami said that with 63% of the maize cultivation over the Tamil Nadu under attack from the Fall Armyworm, an invasive pest, since last year. The state government declared to relief to the tune of Rs 186.25 crore under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to help farmers.
Making a Suo moto statement in the Assembly, CM said that of the 3.55 lakh hectare in which maize was cultivated, about 2,20,986 hectares had been hit by the pest. Despite all precautionary measures. The relict was to help farmers in 17 districts, he said.
As the relief to rain-fed crops would be Rs 13,500 per hectare, it would be Rs 7,410 per hectare for crops cultivated through other means, he said. Over 80% of maize farmers are small farmers and the crop forms a significant portion of the State’s food production.
The crop is cultivated more in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Tiruchi, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, and Theni districts. Due to climate changes, the Fall Armyworm, which hit the Americas had spread to Africa in 2016 and was later reported in India in 2018.
The pest has also hit neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia,” he said. The pest started affecting maize cultivation in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and in Tami Nadu from 2018 has elevated quickly and resulted in huge loss to farmers.