Andhra Pradesh

Farmer associations urge Modi to bail out cyclone-hit farmers

Leaders of Farmers Co-ordination Committee being detained by the police during a protest against the farm laws, at Benz Circle in Vijayawada on Thursday.  

Federation of All-India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to extend aid to the farmers hit by cyclone Nivar.

The heavy rainfall induced by the cyclone has caused extensive damage to paddy, FCV tobacco, chilli, Bengal gram, cotton and horticultural crops in coastal districts of South India forcing farmers to go for fresh plantation in some regions.

Federation general secretary Murali Babu said that crops in 4.9 lakh hectares were damaged in the State. Paddy in 3.25 lakh hectares, Bengal gram in 42,000 hectares, cotton in 21,000 hectares, and other crops in 63,000 hectares in 449 villages of 13 districts were damaged resulting in losses in crores of rupees.

The cyclone also caused extensive damage to horticultural crops in about 23,000 acres and the loss was estimated at ₹128 crore affecting over 17,000 farmers engaged in cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

FCV tobacco farmers and Vinukonda burley farmers were among the worst hit where freshly sowed saplings, less than 60 days old and planted across 10,000 hectares have been adversely impacted due to water logging.

In burley growing regions of Guntur and Prakasam districts where harvesting commenced in more than 7,500 hectares, there was a complete leaf loss in curing barns. Also, due to unexpected heavy rains and high winds, five million kg in curing is exposed to rotting and quality deterioration.

Delay likely

In Northern Light Soil regions of FCV tobacco crop, considerable delay is expected for the rest of the plantation as the incessant rains have flooded the fields a few weeks after completion of sowing operation. To recoup the losses incurred during last cropping season when lockdown coincided with the peak marketing season, farmers have no other option but to go for re-plantation, which involves additional expenses.

“Cyclone Nivar has caused one of the biggest-ever losses to the agriculture sector in any disaster in South India. We are still evaluating the extent of the loss which could be in the range of hundreds of crores. We are also trying to impress upon the government to provide an immediate economic relief package to farmers,” said federation national spokesperson Yashwanth Chidipothu.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 3:50:40 PM |

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