A Correspondent

KALPETTA: The sharp drop in rainfall during this monsoon has become a matter of grave concern for farmers in Wayanad.

Compared to the same period last year, there is more than 60 per cent drop in rainfall this year, according to the meteorology section at the Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) at Ambalavayal.

Last year, the rainfall recorded was 769.8 mm from May to July 14 against 272.4 mm this term, V.S. Devadas, Associate Director, RARS, pointed out.

Pepper vines blossomed early this year owing to the untimely summer rain but the continuous showers essential for pollination and emergence of berries have not materialised, Dr. Devadas said.

Moreover, the crop being sensitive to climatic changes, the dry weather prevailing for the last few weeks is another threat as it might cause falling of the tender pepper spikes, he added.

The sudden climatic transitions have increased the various afflictions to pepper and ginger crops, Bhaskaran Chettiar, a farmer at Meenangadi, points out.