Over 80,000 trees have been damaged completely

There is not going to be any produce of coconut from the Konaseema region at least for the next one year, all due to the devastation caused by the cyclone Helen.

According to the preliminary observations of the scientists from the Horticulture Research Station here, a fresh flowering is needed to get any yield, for which the coconut groves have to be strengthened with supplements like phosphate and sulphate. According to a rough estimate, over 80,000 coconut trees have been damaged completely due to the cyclone Helen that costs about Rs. 250 crore.

In all, coconut cultivation is going on in an extent of 1.14 lakh acres in the Konaseema region and the average plantation is 80 saplings per acre.

Coconut groves at Katrenikona, Uppalaguptam, Allavaram, Polavaram, Sakhinetipalli, Malkipuram and Razole mandals are worst-affected, where the growers have to spend a lot on the revival of the partially damaged trees. In other mandals too, the damage is severe due to the heavy gales. “The coconut growers are advised to remove the fallen trees immediately. Otherwise, they may cause spread of pests ,” says G. Ramanandam, principal scientist of the Horticulture Research Station. Observing that the coconut groves in areas adjacent to the seacoast are the worst-affected, he said that possibility of the spread of bud drop disease is very high in the affected areas. But, the growers are not in a position to invest on the coconut groves.

“There is drop in the price last year. The growers are now penniless and waiting for a helping hand from the government ,” says Donga Nageswara Rao, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh’s Konaseema unit.