Agricultural activities in the agricultural lands irrigated by the Kalingarayan Canal have started with the farmers preparing the land for turmeric cultivation during the current season.
Water was discharged into the canal on August 11 for agriculture on 15,743 acres spread over Erode, Unjalur and Kodumudi, after which the canal joins the Noyyal River.
Of the total cultivable area, turmeric is cultivated in 70% to 80% while sugar cane, bananas and other crops are cultivated in the rest of the territory. Agricultural activities including watering, plowing and preparing the land for cultivation began as water from the canal began to reach the farmers.
However, members of Kalingarayan Pasana Sabai said the water had only reached 40 km of the 91.10 km total length of the canal. On Saturday, the water reached Amaravathi Pudur, near Unjalur.
His secretary KM Krishnamurthy said The Hindu that it might take more than a week for the water to reach the tail farmers, after which agricultural activities would start in the Kodumudi areas. He said that currently turmeric was sold for between 7,000 and 8,000 per quintal and that they did not expect any major price changes after the harvest season.
Farmers said the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and labor charges had doubled in recent years and added that they were facing losses due to the low price of their produce.
Therefore, they wanted fair prices to be set for their products, as recommended by the National Farmers Commission, chaired by Mr. S. Swaminathan.