Kerala

Flood fallout: crop loss to dent Onam market

₹81-crore loss has been reported in district

The heavy rainfall witnessed during the last few weeks has resulted in widespread damage to agricultural crops in the district.

The loss has dented the prospects of being able to meet the demand of the Onam market locally.

Crop loss worth ₹81 crore has been reported in the district since the onset of the monsoon, according to preliminary estimates.

Last week’s damage

Of these, around ₹50 crore accounted for the agricultural damage last week alone, official sources said. Large-scale destruction of crops were recorded from most parts with areas of Parassala, Neyyattinkara, Aryancode and Vamanapuram.

The damage is spread across around 1,400 hectares of land under cultivation. Of these, plantain was cultivated in close to 730 hectares. Vegetable, tuber crops, and paddy were also among the crops lost in large quantities.

V. Venu, Principal Agricultural Officer, Thiruvananthapuram, said that the final extent of damage would be assessed only after Onam.

Deadline extended

The Agriculture department had extended the deadline for farmers to claim compensation for the crop loss they suffered in the floods.

While a clear picture would only emerge later, the total loss was bound to be much higher than the initial finding.

Local demand

The current situation also made it virtually impossible to meet the local demand for vegetables during the Onam season without importing additional supply.

To meet the demand, department would directly operate around 70 stalls across the district.

In addition, stalls of the Horticorp and Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) would also function.

Nevertheless, a shortage of vegetables was anticipated during the current festive season.

Efforts were also being made by farmers’ collective in preventing a potential rise in vegetable prices.

For Onam platter

The Pallichal-based Sangamaithri Farmers Producer Company, a collective of 6,500 farmers, had readied up to 20 tonnes of a variety of vegetables, including yellow cucumber, ladies finger, snake gourd, pumpkin and ash gourd, all essential components of the Onam platter.

According to Sangamaithri chairman Balachandran Nair, the farmers had stocked sufficient quantity of vegetables after harvesting produce very well in advance.

He added the vegetables would be sold through retail outlets across the district at the same price that they procured from the farmers.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 8:42:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/flood-fallout-crop-loss-to-dent-onam-market/article24740311.ece

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