Rain hits over 10,000 farmers

Crop losses in district estimated at ₹128 crore

Nearly 10,000 farmers in Ernakulam district were severely affected by the heavy south-west monsoon, while crop losses were put at around ₹128 crore. According to the Department of Agriculture, nearly 3,000 hectares of farmland were affected.

Rain hit farmers in all the taluks and blocks hard. The crops that were damaged include banana, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, tapioca, rubber, coconut, paddy, pepper, arecanut, and nutmeg.

Banana plantations sustained most losses. Incidentally, the crop is a major source of revenue for farmers, especially in the run-up to Onam. It is estimated that nearly 16 lakh bunched plants were destroyed, while another 3.81 lakh non-bunched plants were affected. Losses suffered by banana farmers in the district are estimated to be in the vicinity of ₹100 crore.

A.M. Augustine, a farmer from Kalady, said rain had played havoc with major crops, especially banana. Nutmeg farmers also reported heavy losses. According to the Agriculture Department, 7,000 nutmeg trees were affected.

Vegetable farmers too suffered severe losses. The estimated area under vegetable cultivation affected by rain is nearly 200 hectares. Around 500 hectares under tapioca were hit, mostly due to flooding of fields. A total of 12,000 rubber trees under tapping too were affected.

Pineapple farmers at Muvattupuzha and nearby areas reported crop losses and the setting in of rot disease and deformation of fruits owing to rain.

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