KENDRAPARA: Cyclone Amphan has dealt a severe blow to the hopes of around 5,000 betel leaf farmers in the district. Betel vineyards in several acres of land were battered by rain and wind across many coastal villages.
A betel leaf farmer of Suniti village, Debendra Jena, said they had hoped for a good yield because of favourable weather and soil condition. “However, the cyclone did not spare any vineyard in the village”, he said.
Another farmer, Sankar Mallick of Batighar village had taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh to raise a betel vineyard over one acre of his land. His betel vine plants were flattened by the strong winds.
Umesh Chandra Singh, president of Krushak Sabha’s district unit, rued that most farmers are not covered by insurance companies due to lack of any concrete Government policy.
Collector Samarth Verma said the State Government has directed officials to assess the damage caused by the cyclone.
“All cyclone-hit farmers will be given loans from the Government, cooperative societies and other financial firms. Seeds will also be provided,” he informed.