Torrential rain and strong winds that lashed Wayanad last week have left a trail of destruction in the district, a major spice, coffee, and plantain growing region in the State.
Coupled with landslips, rains have adversely affected plantation crops such as ginger, black pepper, cardamom coffee, nutmeg, rubber and cocoa.
According to preliminary reports of the Agriculture Department, the agriculture sector alone incurred a loss of ₹14.18 crore.
The calamities affected as many as 2,730 farmers in the district, Sajimon K. Varghese, Principal Agriculture Officer, told The Hindu. The black pepper crop was severely hit, Mr. Sajimon said. “We fear that the high moisture content owing to the rain may trigger fungal diseases like quick wilt and soft wilt,” he added.
“Torrential rains have washed off black pepper vines in many parts of the district. This will adversely affect pepper production in the coming season,” K. George, a farmer at Kottathara, said. Pepper production might fall 40% to 50% next season, he added.
According to the reports, pepper farmers alone suffered a loss of ₹4.65 crore.
‘Nendran’ variety of plantain cultivated on 236.24 hectares was also destroyed. More than 5,90,600 plantains cultivated on 236.24 hectares were completely destroyed in the rain, Mr. Saji
Ginger rhizomes cultivated on 195.7 hectares were destroyed in the rain.
Apart from this, tubers cultivated on 104 hectares, cassava cultivated on 123 hectares, paddy on 142 hectares, and
vegetable crops cultivated on 20 hectares were also destroyed.
According to the Wayanad district administration, 1,209 houses were partially damaged and 42 houses were fully destroyed.