Survey of drought-hit coconut plantations under way

The Horticulture Department is collecting data on coconut plantations affected badly by drought in the district.

Following a discussion on the plight of coconut farmers at the recently concluded legislature session, the State government had directed the Horticulture Department to assess the losses incurred by coconut farmers and furnish farmer-wise data.

According to the initial estimation, over 11 lakh coconut trees have died in the district and more than 83,000 farmers affected. “We have over 65,000 hectares of coconut fields. This comes to around 85 lakh of trees. Of them, more than 11 lakh have become unproductive. We had done the estimates for the district earlier, but now we have been asked to collect farmer-wise data,” said A.B. Sanjay, Deputy Director of Horticulture.

A coconut farm with 100 trees was once considered sufficient to meet the needs of a family of six. However, because of drought and dip in rainfall, lakhs of trees have become unproductive. Many farmers have already cut trees and converted coconut plantations into other kinds of farm. “The farmers are demanding a suitable compensation, considering the losses they have incurred. Moreover, encouraging them to replant coconut may not work as water scarcity continues,” he said on Thursday.

Officials have begun visiting farms to collect data. “With limited staff, we are carrying out the exercise. It will be completed within a week,” Mr. Sanjay said.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:06:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/survey-of-drought-hit-coconut-plantations-under-way/article19180706.ece

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