TIRUNELVELI: Sugarcane farmers have little to celebrate this Pongal festival as they are facing a setback in selling their yield due to stunt growth and diminishing demand. Staring at not-so-sweet sales this season, the sugarcane farmers in the district blame it on the weather change for their poor yield.
Every year, farmers in Ambasamudram taluk cultivate sugarcane in 30 hectares, hoping to earn a robust income during Pongal. However, farmers claim that for the past two years, natural disasters played a spoilsport in their plans leading to weak sales.
A farmer, M Govindan (59) near Papanasam said, “Last year, we left the harvested sugarcane on the fields as we had no place to store it due to floods. Later, the strong winds in November affected the growth of the next batch of sugarcane. While sugarcane grows up to 7-foot tall, the climate has led it to grow only up to 4-foot.”
Agriculture department officials claimed the yield has been good this year and no case of stunt growth has been reported so far.