Paddy, vegetable crops in Ernakulam hit by heavy rain

Paddy, vegetables and banana cultivation in over 216 hectares in Ernakulam district have been hit by heavy rain and bad weather since May 1, first information reports from farmers have said. The losses were pegged at more than ₹3 crore during the period due to crop losses, added the report that was received by the Department of Agriculture.

Banana cultivation in over 143 hectares and paddy in 42 hectares have been hit and the losses were estimated around ₹1.68 crore and ₹63 lakh respectively. In addition, more than 14 hectares of vegetable cultivation have been affected and the losses were estimated to be more than ₹60 lakh.

Marginal farmers hit

Small and marginal farmers are the worst affected. Around 2.5 acres of vegetables, comprising about 19 types, cultivated by K. N. Lalu in Kottuvally panchayat has gone under water. The periodic heavy rain has resulted in storm water drainage systems being flooded, which led to water stagnation in the fields, sources at the Department of Agriculture said.

A banana farmer, Dhanesh Manikkad, in the same panchayat, has seen around 200 banana plants being hit by flooding. The banana and vegetable cultivation affected by heavy rain and flooding in the area are part of more than 10 acres of crops that have been hit.

George Menacherry, vice president of Karumalloor grama panchayat, said that vast tracts of paddy ready to be harvested had gone under water. He added that even harvested paddy has not been dried, resulting in millers refusing to take delivery of the wet crop.

Seeking spaces to dry

V. M. Sunil, a paddy farmer in Karumalloor said that there are around 1,000 acres under paddy cultivation in the panchayat. It is one of the panchayats that have vast quantities of paddy but about half of it are under floods now, he said. The farmers have been looking for places to dry the harvested paddy and help is being sought from the people in the panchayat to find suitable spaces for the same, he said.

Pokkali in deep waters

Meanwhile, pokkali cultivation in the district has been hit hard by the onset of rain, largely triggered by cyclonic storm formations. Farmers in Maruvakkad paddy collective in Chellanam panchayat have alleged that the extension of the period for shrimp cultivation by 15 days, up to April 30, had prevented timely draining of the fields. The early onset of rain has now completely ended the hope of any cultivation this season.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 7:01:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/paddy-vegetable-crops-in-ernakulam-hit-by-heavy-rain/article65422578.ece