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The Hindu
The Hindu
Staff Reporter

Agriculture sector suffers loss of ₹124 crore in Alappuzha

The agriculture sector in Alappuzha has suffered losses to the tune of around ₹124 crore in the recent rain fury, according to a preliminary report prepared by the Agriculture department.

According to officials, the paddy sector alone incurred a loss of about ₹112 crore. The rain and waterlogging have destroyed standing paddy crops in 6,400 hectares (ha) belonging to 8,467 farmers. Apart from the rice cultivation, farmers growing banana, vegetables, betel vine, sesamum, tuber crops, and so on have suffered losses.

"These are preliminary estimates. We are yet to complete the crop loss assessment in the district and actual figures would be much higher," said an Agriculture department official on Sunday.

This ‘puncha’ crop (first crop) season, farmers have undertaken rice cultivation in more than 26,000 ha. spread across 587 padasekharams in the district, a major portion of which is in Kuttanad. The paddy harvest, which got under way in the last week of February, was completed in about 30% of the area under cultivation when the summer rain lashed the region.

Earlier, the sowing for ‘puncha’ crop season got delayed in several areas due to heavy downpours and floods that hit the district in October-November last year.

On Saturday, a team of officials led by Agriculture department Director T.V. Subhash toured various rain-ravaged paddy polders in the district and reviewed the crop loss. Mr. Subash said that farmers who got their crops insured would be provided compensation. Assistance would also be given to farmers from the State Disaster Response Fund. The department would formulate projects in association with the Irrigation, Soil Survey and Soil Conservation departments, Kerala Land Development Corporation, and local bodies, to find solutions to various problems faced by farmers in the district.

The team visited C Block, Rajaramapuram, Ashtamam Thengarapacha, Onnam Block, Pathinalam Block, Puthichira, Peruvelichal, Irupathinalayiram Kayal, among other paddy fields in the district. Mr. Subhash said steps would be taken to reduce waterlogging in paddy polders in Chennithala grama panchayat by ensuring smooth flow of floodwaters through canals.

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