Kochi

Heavy rain, winds cause widespread damage to crops in Ernakulam

The decommissioned vessels that was handed over to the Alappuzha port museum. Tapioca farm inundated at Kolathuruth in Valakom panchayat near Moovattupuzha.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Standing crops, including banana, tapioca, paddy, and cowpea are among the worst hit by the heavy rain and winds that battered the district last week and early Sunday. According to a tentative estimate, the farming sector has lost about ₹40 crore.

Agriculture department sources said that around 3,100 farmers had lost crops in about 233 hectares. Flooding hit mostly tapioca cultivation while heavy winds uprooted banana plants and long-term crops like rubber, nutmeg and coconut.

Bad weather conditions apart, pineapple farmers have said they are through a bitter harvest with the lockdown. They are sitting on a harvest of 5,000 tonnes of ripe fruits, unable to sell the fruits because of the fresh restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19 as Ernakulam district went into triple lockdown, sources in the Pineapple Growers’' Association Keralam said. A farmer at Bethanippadi, Kolathuruth in Valakom panchayat near Muvattupuzha said he was unable to sell more than a tonne of golden melon after he harvested the crop as the fields started being flooded in heavy rain. P.A. Kunjunju also said that there would be another tonne of the crop ready to be harvested. “But there is no hope of selling the golden melon because of the lockdown”, he said. He said he had been distributing the harvest free to community kitchens and people, who wanted them.

A senior farm officer said that low lying areas in places like Maaraadi had seen vast swathes of tapioca crop go under water. About 10 hectares of tapioca crop near Valakom has been flooded too. “We hope the water recedes today. If that happens at least a portion of the crop may be saved”, said the officer.

More than 400 tapioca suffered loss of crop in 44 hectares, the initial estimates said. Vegetables in about 40 hectares too have been lost to the bad weather. Another hectare of other tuber crops too have been hit while around 45 hectares of paddy crop too has been damaged in the rain between May 11 and May 15. Around 2,300 nutmeg trees, both bearing and non-bearing and 1.23 lakh banana plants (both bunched and non-bunched) as well as 2,212 rubber trees under tapping were also hit by the winds and rains.

₹13-cr. loss in Wayanad

Widespread damage to properties and crops has been reported in heavy rain that lashed many parts of Wayanad district in the past two days. The rain affected 6,749 farmers in the district . A total loss of ₹13.8 crore was incurred in agriculture sector alone in the rain-related calamities in a week.

Crops, including 3,22,700 saplings of plantain, ginger cultivated on 123 hectares, cassava on 120 hectares and vegetable cultivated on 16 hectares, were destroyed in the rain. Over 14,000 coffee plants,5,260 pepper vines, 5,180 rubber plants, 1,155 coconut palms and 7,602 arecanut palms were uprooted in the rain. As many as 24 houses were partially damaged. According to the preliminary estimate of the district administration, an estimated loss of ₹23.35 lakh was incurred in the sector.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:33:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/heavy-rain-winds-cause-widespread-damage-to-crops-in-ernakulam/article34582134.ece

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