The areca nut cultivation in Goa has been affected up to 30 per cent in the wake of ceaseless rains that has continued hitting the state this month.
The farmers say that the losses are extreme. The crop suffers from Koleroga disease and fungicide spraying proves ineffective as the rain washes it down.
“The situation is really grim. We have decided to approach the state government seeking compensation,” said Narendra Sawaikar, Chairman, Goa Bagayatdar Sahakari Kharedi Vikri Sanstha Maryadit, state’s largest cooperative society.
The society, operating from Ponda town, looks after the welfare of areca nut growers in the state.
Goa has around 3,500 to 4,000 farmers growing areca nuts in their farms.
Sawaikar said that the destruction of crop is around 30 per cent and the state Agriculture department has blamed the rainfall for the loss.
“We have been receiving complaints from the farmers across the state about droppings,” S A Tendulkar, state Agriculture Director, told PTI adding that usually seasonal dropping is to the tune of 10 per cent but this time around, it has increased drastically.
“Government is providing them the support price which will be continued even this time,” he said.
The western state has 2,000 hectares of land under areca nut cultivation producing around 2,000 tones of nuts annually, which is sent outside the state for processing.
Goa’s rural regions like Ponda, Sattari and Sanguem has the crop, which is usually mixed with other plantations like coconuts.
Goa has received above average rainfall this monsoon.
According to Indian Meteorological department’s Goa office incharge K V Singh, the state has received more than 132 inches rainfall.
He said that this monsoon is likely to be decade’s highest ever rainfall surpassing the record of 2007.