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Protecting Paddy in Thanjavur

In a first of its kind initiative anywhere in the country, taken by District Collector of Thanjavur Mr. Govinda Rao, the harvested paddy for the current season has been protected by installing a mobile paddy dryer for a trial basis. It will help in reducing the moisture content which will be aiding several farmers in the district.
Indian Masterminds Stories

The year 2021 started with unusual beginnings for Tamil Nadu, as the state experienced the wettest Januarys ever. While the state receives around 11.4 mm rainfall in first 15 days of January every year, it increased upto 133.6 mm this year. Due to this, the paddy in Thanjavur district which was harvested for the current season has gained around 28 per cent moisture- that is eight percent higher than the procurement slab fixed by Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC).

However, with the help of District Collector Thanjavur M Govinda Rao and a progressive farmer who coordinated with the administration, a mobile paddy dryer has been installed at Ponnapur East near Orathanadu in Thanjavur for a trial basis. This is the first such initiative in the state.

THE UNPRECIDENTED RAINFALL

Mr. Rao while speaking to Indian Masterminds said, “This year we have received unseasonal rainfall for January month. Thanjavur district generally receives 25 mm rainfall in the month of January, but this year it increased by more than 295 mm. Due to this, mainly the paddy in the harvesting stage got lodged and many places were also damaged by the unprecedented rainfall.”

Farmers showing affected paddy to District Collector Govinda Rao and Principal Secretary

Wherever it is recoverable, the farmers are trying their best. However, the harvested paddy has more moisture content than usual which is around 26-28 percent. For the procurement, the allowed moisture content fixed by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) ranges from 17-20 percent”, he added.

A natural solution to this issue is to dry up the paddy by keeping it in the sunlight. However, this takes more time and is not a commercially viable option.

BRINGING IN THE MACHINERY

To find a better way out, the district administration coordinated with a farmer from Ganapathi Agraharam named G Srinivasan. A mobile paddy dryer machine was identified in the satellite city, Hosur where the farmer reached to customize it. With the help of the administration, the machine was brought from Hosur to Thanjavur for a pilot basis and was put to use in a direct procurement centre at Ponnapur East near Orathanadu.

Speaking about the machine, Mr. Rao said, “Till now the machine is performing well and it is a two tonne capacity dryer. It has the capacity to reduce the moisture content from 24 to 18 in just two hours’ time. After seeing the machine, the farmer also expressed a positive feeling as this initiative was taken for the first time in the state, which is turning out to be profitable for them as well.”

“We are now trying to order two such machines from the Government’s Agriculture Engineering department. These two machines are hopefully expected to be functional this week”, he added.

FURTHER BENEFITS

Now after these two machines are functional, the performance of the machine will be tracked and a report will be submitted to the government for positive consideration. The outcome of the performance will also depend on putting up more such machines in the district.

Mr. Rao said, “There are more than 14 Farmer Producer Organization in the district and the administration is now encouraging them to go for this machinery and help the members use it. Also, under Rurban Scheme, the administration is trying to encourage the SHG workers in operating this machinery.”

The initiative taken by the administration will put focus on the right places: the procurement of paddy and helping in eliminating the damage caused to the harvested paddy during the rainy season. Not only this, but it will also engage more people in operating the machines, which would further help in generating employment in the district.


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