MAYILADUTHURAI: The spirit of Pongal has been severely dampened in the Mayiladuthurai district after several thousands of acres of paddy were destroyed in the harvest stage due to unseasonal rains over the past week.
Following unrelenting rains, paddy fields were inundated and crops in the harvest stage were destroyed on January 7 and 8.
The crops were unrooted and damaged as the water took long to drain out of the fields. “I cultivated paddy on nearly 15 acres of land. Over 60% of the cultivated area was affected due to rain. The crops were in the harvest stage. Officials are yet to visit and inspect the site,” said G Rajaraman, a farmer from Kunnam village in Kollidam block in Mayiladuthurai district.
According to the agriculture department, the samba and thaladi crop was damaged on nearly 18,000 acres, out of 1.7 lakh acres in the district. Groundnut crop was damaged on nearly 2,000 acres as well. The farmers affected by crop damage are holding onto hopes of reviving their crops after draining water from fields in many areas across the blocks.
“The farmers in our village had cultivated on nearly 700 acres, with a range of crops, including long-duration crops, medium-duration crops as well as the traditional varieties. Farmers are still pumping out water using motor pumps. Only some people harvested the crop before the rains,” said N Ganesh, a farmer from Perumangalam in Sirkazhi block.
A senior official of the agriculture and farmers’ welfare department in Mayiladuthurai said, “The potential crop damage has reduced after water receded in many areas. Revenue and agriculture department officials will conduct an inspection soon and calculate the losses following approval from the district administration.”