Majority of the farmers who suffered the damage were in and around Pollachi

For the first time, perhaps, the district administration has compensated banana farmers whose crops were damaged during gale and rain in April 2012. This compensation – Rs. 11.23 lakh – was possible because of Collector M. Karunagaran’s efforts, say officials in the Horticulture Department.

They say that the Rs. 11.23 lakh will, to an extent, offset the loss suffered by 409 farmers, who had cultivate banana on over 150 hectares.

For every hectare of loss suffered, the farmers will get Rs. 7,500.

The officials say that the farmers, whether insured or otherwise, will not get compensation if the loss suffered is because of winds.

Mr. Karunagaran says that the officials often make a mistake in only reporting gale and not rain.

In April 2012, the gale was accompanied by hail and that enabled him to take up the issue of damage to crops with the Government.

Harvest

The Department sources say that majority of the farmers who suffered the damage were in and around Pollachi. And when the crop damage occurred, the plants were ready for harvest.

The farmers had aimed at the Tamil and Malayalam New Year for harvest and that was when the damage happened, they add.

Damage

And most of the crops that suffered damage were the traditional, long varieties because they are weightless.

‘Dwarf Cavendish’

To help the farmers overcome the problem, the Department of Horticulture has been promoting hybrid dwarf varieties like ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ and ‘red banana’.