CHENNAI: Continuing his assistance to various sections of the cyclone Ockhi-affected people in Kanniyakumari district, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday announced a special livelihood rehabilitation package for growers of banana, rubber and clove and directed the officials to ensure that the aid reaches the people immediately.
Besides, other horticultural crops, including tapioca, pepper and jack fruit have also been damaged in the cyclone. The officials would extend appropriate relief from the State Disaster Response Fund, he said.
In a statement, the chief minister said, “Ockhi has severely affected horticultural crops in Kanniyakumari district. In the preliminary survey, it was found that horticultural crops spread over 3,623 hectare have been damaged. Particularly, plantain on 1,900 hectares and rubber trees on 1,400 hectares have been damaged. As many as 90 teams formed by the Horticulture department are engaged in quickly assessing the overall damage.”
Palaniswami said banana growers would be given a grant of `35,000 per hectare for cultivating banana through the conventional method and `50,000 per hectare for cultivating banana through tissue culture. In the first year, `39,750 would be given for conventional cultivation while `51,000 would be given for tissue culture. So, in all, they would be getting a grant ranging from `48,500 to `63,500 per hectare.
Pointing out that rubber growers in the district were mostly small and marginal farmers, the chief minister said these farmers had to wait for at least seven years to get some income through cultivation of rubber trees.
Considering these facts, a special livelihood rehabilitation package for re-cultivation of rubber trees would be implemented, he noted.“Under this scheme, `50,000 would be given to each farmer who wishes to cultivate banana or pineapple as inter-crops along with rubber. Besides, a new scheme for beekeeping would be implemented in this district. For this purpose, 20 bee boxes with honey bees worth `32,000 per hectare would be given to rubber growers. So, in all, rubber growers affected by Ockhi cyclone would be getting `1 lakh per hectare,” Palaniswami said.
CM also said that clove crops in 43 hectares had been destroyed in the cyclone in Kanniyakumari district. So, `28,000 would be given to clove growers per hectare for recultivation