Kerala

Rain brings huge losses to Alappuzha’s paddy farmers

A submerged paddy field at Thalavady in Kuttanad on Tuesday.  

Several farmers who cultivated paddy in the puncha crop season (first crop) have suffered huge losses after summer rain destroyed harvest-ready crops in large tracts in different parts of the district. Besides, several tonnes of harvested paddy kept in paddy polders to be shifted to rice mills got drenched in the rain.

According to paddy farmers and officials, the upper Kuttanad region has been the worst affected. In the Chennithala region, paddy in 500 hectares has been destroyed/submerged. Farmers in Mannar, Thalavady and other parts of the region too suffered losses.

With the weather agency predicting rain in the coming days, the farmers are a worried lot. Apart from fields with standing crops getting submerged, the harvested paddy stored in the polders or in the open, due to lack of proper storage facilities, also gets damaged. Farmers said that due to the high moisture content in the rain-soaked paddy, rice mills were demanding wastage up to 15 kg per quintal of paddy. This wi resulting in friction between the farmers and mills.

“We cannot do much about rain destroying standing crops. But authorities can ensure the procurement of harvested paddy in a time-bound manner. But, unfortunately, that is not happening, adding to the woes of the farmers,” said a paddy farmer from Chennithala.

Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, who visited the submerged paddy fields in Thalavady on Tuesday urged the government to provide immediate relief to farmers.

In 28,000 ha

Paddy farming has been undertaken in around 28,000 hectares in Alappuzha district, a major portion being in Kuttanad, in the ‘puncha’ crop season (first crop). So far, paddy harvest is completed in around 24,000 hectares. The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) has procured around one lakh tonnes of paddy so far from the farmers in Alappuzha.

Earlier in the puncha season, seeds provided by the government to farmers in Nedumudi, Thakazhi and Veeyapuram failed to germinate. Besides an increase in water level coupled with bund breaches following unseasonal rain had destroyed paddy in around 600 hectares in Kuttanad and upper Kuttanad.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:22:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rain-brings-huge-losses-to-alappuzhas-paddy-farmers/article34311277.ece

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