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Updated: October 20, 2013 15:48 IST

Phailin destroys over 70% banana fruit

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A man carrying bananas at a local market in cyclone-hit India.
A man carrying bananas at a local market in cyclone-hit India.

Cyclone Phailin has ruined more than 70 per cent of banana fruit in Bihar’s Vaishali district, the hub of banana cultivation located north of the Ganga.

Initial reports suggest that more than 70 per cent of the banana crop has been destroyed due to Phailin, District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Dinesh Prasad said.

The DAO said that to assess the actual damage to the cash crop, an order has been passed on Friday for conducting field wise survey.

The survey team has been given a week’s time for submission of report after which decision to pay compensation to farmers would be taken by the government, he said.

The team comprising of officials and agriculture experts have been told to take photograph of the fields raged due to Phailin in the district, he said.

Mr. Prasad said that the high speed wind that accompanied rains for 48 hours on Sunday and Monday triggered by Phailin proved deadly for the banana trees which got uprooted prematurely.

After Brazil, India is the second largest banana producer in the world.

Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal are producers of the fruit.

The banana crop is grown in around 2,000 hectares in the state in districts like Vaishali, Katihar, Kishanganj and Purnia.

The Hajipur “chiniya” variety of banana is very famous in the country and is also exported.

The widespread damage to the banana crop is expected to spike the price of the fruit during the Chhath festival period.

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