The visit of the central team in the drought-hit areas of Marayur and Kanthallur has raised hope for the farmers who suffered heavy loses in the current season. Kanthalloor is the cool season vegetable cultivating village like Vattavada and Marayur is a complete sugarcane cultivating area.
Farmers in Kanthallur are preparing the land for sowing seeds in the coming season after suffering nearly 40 percent of the damage to the vegetables in the last season. The main crops destroyed were carrot, beans and garlic. “The farmers not only suffered loss due to drought but also from fall in prices and lack of facility for timely procurement of the vegetables,'' Kanthalloor grama panchayat president S. Madhavan told the Hindu over phone. He said that to make the farmers prepare for the next season support is needed as all most all had taken loans from different agencies including private moneylenders in the last season. He said that the visit of the Central team is highly welcomed and hoped that it will help in timely delivery of assistance to the farmers so that they can start sowing the seeds in time for another season.
Ramakrishna Puthoor, a farmer, said that the large number of farmers cultivated garlic as it received Rs 100 and more in the previous season and they were forced to sell it at Rs 15 and less in the current last. Villagers say that they had never experienced a drought like this for more than three decades.
In Kanthalloor, cultivation of potato, beans, carrot, garlic and cabbage had been affected in nearly 1,400 acres of land. Vattavada was also hit by the drought, though not severe as that of Kanthalloor. The farmers could not market the vegetables that suffered stunned growth and were harvested before maturity to prepare the land for the next season.
In Marayur, sugarcane cultivation in the uplands had considerably dried up and farmers are forced to make jaggerry from the canes with stunned growth. It is estimated that the total production has been considerably affected and an exact data on it was unavailable as sugarcane is harvested throughout the year.
The central team will meet the farmers and collect details of how the erratic monsoon hit their crops which provided the only source of income to them.