Weather-beaten Kanthallur subdued


Vagaries during sowing likely to lead to a fall in production this Onam

Many vagaries of weather later, Kanthallur is all set to harvest cool season vegetables for Onam. However, a considerable drop in production is likely owing to climatic changes during the sowing season.

The main crops likely to be hit are potato, cabbage, carrot, and garlic. It is estimated that there will be a 40 per cent fall in production for the Onam season, the harvesting for which has just begun.

Bhagavathiappan, a farmer, says he had to sow the seeds for the season thrice — the first two attempts failed owing to drought conditions and a cloudburst in May-June. This is the season most favourable for potato and carrot cultivation, and the farmers often make up their losses through the Onam sale.

Manikandan’s land at Perumala got flooded after the cloudburst, and his vegetable plants are now in the initial stage of growth.

He says seasonal cultivation changed this time owing to the delayed sowing. The farmers here cultivate in the main two seasons of May/June and September/October. Almost all the farmers had to sow the seeds afresh after the first sowing failed owing to the drought situation.

The June 2 cloudburst destroyed the seeds sown in the second round. It took the farmers weeks to clear the debris so that their lands could be prepared for another sowing.

There are plots that have just been planted with vegetable crops, especially at Perumala, where the cloudburst caused severe damage. This will affect the arrival of vegetables from here for Onam.

Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) assistant manager Harris Muhammed says 250 tonnes of vegetables from Kanthallur is expected for Onam. In addition to the VFPCK, Horticorp too will procure vegetables from the farmers through the Kanthallur Coolseason Vegetable Marketing Society. Farmers also directly sell produce to businessmen and middlemen, a system traditionally followed for years. Mr. Muhammed says the main cool season vegetables are expected to arrive in the market a little after Onam.

The prices at the VFPCK auction centres have reached Rs.30 for a kilogram of carrot, Rs.25 for potato, and Rs.14 to 15 for cabbage as per latest estimates. This may rise further in the coming days owing to the delayed production and high demand.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:25:32 PM |

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