Agri Business

Floods, landslides lay waste areca plantations on 1,900 acres

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on August 20, 2019 Published on August 20, 2019

Arecanut crops on around 1,887 acres bore the brunt of incessant rainfall in the region. Photo: The Hindu   -  The Hindu

The recent landslides and floods following heavy rainfall in coastal Karnataka and the Western Ghat regions have severely affected farmers in arecanut-growing regions.

Though the survey to assess the crop loss is in progress, the preliminary reports suggest that arecanut crop was affected on around 1,900 acres.

Vast destruction

Referring to preliminary assessment reports, HR Nayak, Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada district, told BusinessLine that horticulture crops on around 2,180 acres of land were affected by the recent floods and landslides in the region.

Of this, arecanut crops were the major victim. Arecanut crops on around 1,887 acres bore the brunt of incessant rainfall in the region.

Belthangady taluk suffered heavy loss. Of the 1,887 acres of arecanut crops, around 1,360 acres were badly affected in this taluk.

Trees uprooted

Many trees were uprooted and sludge that flowed along with the flood waters has accumulated in the areca plantations in the taluk.

Ravi Poojary, member of the Charmady gram panchayat, said the accumulation of sludge in the plantations will cause major problems in the days to come as it will not allow aeration in the plantation. Charmady is one of the severely flood-affected villages in the taluk.

Farmers, who are not in a position to remove the sludge now, may have to witness the sludge getting dried up in the plantation. Such a development could increase the heat in the plantation, leading to the drying up of the surviving areca trees, he said.

Guna Sagar, an arecanut trader from Ujire town adjoining Charmady village, said that there was decrease in the arrival of arecanut last year due to fruit rot disease. With the floods and landslips affecting the region badly, he said, the situation will be worse this year. Stating that the final assessment of crop loss is yet to be over, he opined that the area under the arecanut crop loss could be higher than the preliminary reports.

Rot disease

Referring to his interactions with farmers in the arecanut-growing regions, Suresh Bhandary, Managing Director of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd, said farmers are also complaining about the crop loss to fruit rot disease.

Farmers are of the view that there would be a crop loss of around 40 per cent this year, he added.

Published on August 20, 2019
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