Unexpected rain and mist from the first week of December have caused considerable loss to crops in Anchunadu valley.
Farmers say almost all crops, especially those in the tender period of growth, have been affected. This is the second sowing season and the unfavourable weather has taken a toll on bean, garlic, cabbage, beetroot, and potato cultivation.
Chandran Valiyaveettil, a farmer at Guhanathapuram in Kanthalloor, says the weather experienced during the period was similar to the one they had faced in 1981.
“We did not have the feel of the sun as it disappeared for nearly a month. There were only mist and rain. The entire bean crop has decayed and other crops are stunted. Many farmers have abandoned the crops as they are not market-worthy,” he says.
Selvam, a farmer at Kanthallur, says with the climate slowly changing, the bean crop started drying up. Farmers cultivated garlic in more areas due to the high prices last season. The crop was in the tender period of growth and decayed. “We did not get time to replace seeds as it was a long spell of unfavourable weather,” he says.
Sugar cane cultivation in Marayur is also badly hit. “For a long period we did not engage in jaggery production. Now, the sugar cane harvested does not yield juice. The production has declined to nearly half of the normal level now,” Krishnakumar, a farmer, says.
Marayur Agriculture Officer Angel C. Roy says the bean crop has been badly affected. Bean varieties need 45 days of growth and the entire crop of the season has been affected as the bad weather continued for long. Almost all vegetable crops in the season has been affected. She says the region experienced extreme weather from the first week of December. Though mist is quite usual, rain hit the region, a rain-shadow area, and a large-scale pest and fungal attack followed. Officials are now visiting farms to survey the impact.
Though there are three cropping seasons in Anchunadu, in most of the areas only two crops are cultivated due to lack of water. The first and the main crop in August-September was lost due to the pandemic outbreak.