Kerala flood: Government imports vegetables as farm sector takes Rs 1,000-crore hit

As on Monday, the loss to the farm sector was estimated at Rs 1,004.34 crore, senior Agriculture Department officers said.

Published: 21st August 2018 02:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2018 07:49 AM   |  A+A-


File Photo of Kerala Floods. | (Albin Mathews | EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With losses to the state’s flood-ravaged farm sector pegged at over Rs 1,000 crore, the government has started procuring vegetables and fruits from neighbouring states to fill the huge gap in availability and ensure adequate supply in markets and relief camps.

As on Monday, the loss to the farm sector was estimated at Rs 1,004.34 crore, senior Agriculture Department officers said.

“We have started purchasing vegetables mainly from farmers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. For a few vegetables, we also approached Maharashtra,” said Justin Mohan, director, Agriculture Department.

This year, the Agriculture Department had originally planned to cut down ‘imports’ from neighbouring states to promote internal procurement.

However, sustained rainfall and consequent floods devastated the vegetable-growing districts, leaving a 90 per cent shortage on supply, Justin said.

The department is purchasing vegetables and fruits directly from farmers to keep procurement expenses as low as possible.

“We have decided to procure almost all varieties from outside in view of the crisis. We have to ensure adequate supplies in markets as well as relief camps where over seven lakh people have been transferred,” Justin said.

As many as 2,000 Onam-Bakrid vegetable markets have opened across the state as a low-key affair. The Agriculture Department has also asked district administrations to inform them of the local demand. Except in panchayats that still remain flood-affected, every panchayat has at least one special vegetable shop.
Crop loss in 45,988 ha

As per Monday’s figures, crop loss has been reported in 45,988.5 hectares across all 14 districts with paddy, banana, rubber, vegetables, tubers, cardamom and coconut listed among the worst-affected.
For instance, 18,316.38 hectares of main-field paddy land and 561.7 hectares of nursery paddy fields have been destroyed. The floods and landslips have affected 2.8 lakh farmers in all.

Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Wayanad have reported the highest losses. As many as 78,458 farmers have been affected by the calamity in Alappuzha, 59,544 in Pathanamthitta, 35,996 in Kottayam and 26,406 in Idukki.

SLBC announces moratorium on farm loans

T’Puram: Farmers in the state will get a moratorium on farm loans in view of the floods.

The State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) on Monday announced farmers will get a moratorium for repayment of interest on crop loans for one year and repayment of the loan amount will be restructured for payment over five years.

So far, the floods affected a total of 46,000 hectares, making life difficult for 2,80,450 farmers and causing a crop loss of over Rs 1,000 crore. Banks have also agreed not to invoke SARFAESI Act to attach properties in lieu of default on crop loans taken by farmers.

The decisions were taken based on the request by Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar in view of the losses.

India Matters


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