Banana growers suffer cascading effect of Cyclone Gaja

A rotten banana bunch on tree at a field in Nadupadugai near Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district.   | Photo Credit: Hand Out


The cascading effect of Cyclone Gaja and the crash in price banana has hit ‘poovan’ variety banana growers in the Cauvery-irrigated areas in Thanjavur district as they have been forced to leave the banana bunches on the trees to ripe and rot as the price of the fruit oscillated between just ₹10-20 a bunch in the market.

Normally banana cultivation would be taken up in Cauvery irrigation areas during October every year so that the trees would start yielding bunches by August or September subsequent year. Due to the cascading effect of the cyclone, which played havoc in the rain fed irrigation areas such as Marungulam, Pudupatti and others in the border of Thanjavur-Pudukottai district where banana is cultivated widely, farmers in Marungulam region and as well as Naickerpatti, Nadupatti and other areas in the nearby Gandharvakottai block in Pudukottai district planted fresh saplings only in December 2018-January 2019.

Thus banana bunches in these areas have come for harvest by September-October 2019, the normal period for arrivals from the Cauvery-irrigated areas too. Hence, flooding of ‘poovan’ variety in the markets has pulled down the price to around ₹10 - 20 per bunch, said P. Kamaraj of Thanjavur, a wholesale dealer in banana.

“Hence, we preferred to leave the bunches ripe and rot on the trees itself as the sales proceed will only help meet the cutting cost”, claimed A. Baskar of Nadupadugai near Thiruvaiyaru, who had raised banana crop on about ten acres.

Stating that this unexpected development had put many banana cultivators in the Cauvery irrigated area spanning from Thirukattupalli to Kumbakonam in a fix, Deputy Secretary, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, P. Sugumaran, said that the ryots who had cultivated ‘poovan’ banana in Cauvery-irrigated areas were exploring all possible avenues to realise at least the cultivation cost this season.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 12:24:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/banana-growers-suffer-cascading-effect-of-cyclone-gaja/article30230987.ece

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