The loss has occurred in such a critical juncture that the farmers were preparing for the harvest.
Major loss has occurred in Virajpet taluk that stands first in paddy production in Kodagu. The Department of Agriculture has estimated that paddy grown in an area of 5,085.50 acres has been damaged in the taluk. The extent of loss in Madikeri taluk goes up to 1,531.80 acres in Madikeri and 537.50 acres in Somwarpet taluk.
The untimely rains have made the farmers’ life miserable. Since heavy rains lashed in the times of harvest, the entire yield got washed away in the storm water. Paddy started sprouting on the water-clogged fields. In some places, the matured corns got spoiled in the rains before they were separated from the hay. The farmer was totally helpless when the fruits of his labour was being destroyed by the unwanted guest. Even after 15 days of new year, a cloudy atmosphere has continued in the district. Some places are getting rains even today which has worsened the condition of the farmers. They are struggling to dry the paddy on their courtyard.
Large land holders tried to protect their yield by purchasing plastic sheets, but the state of small farmers is really pathetic.
Farmers have incurred 10-50 per cent loss in their paddy yield. But only those farmers with over 50 per cent paddy loss are eligible for compensation from the government. The coffee growers themselves are awaiting compensation for the loss incurred three years back, and what would be the condition of the paddy growers?
This is the main question before everyone. The area of paddy production is decreasing day by day due to shortage of farm labourers. Many farmers are diverting themselves towards alternative crops such as ginger, areca and banana. Many paddy growers have decided to go for some other crops from the coming year.
The rains have destroyed even fodder. Livestock will certainly face shortage of fodder in the days to come. Farmers who were planning to sell hay to Kerala and earn some money, lost their dreams. Even the market of paddy has collapsed since majority of the yield has got moisture.
The price of rice has already crossed Rs 40 per kg in Kodagu. Traders are of the view that there is no surprise if it crosses Rs 50 per kg of rice since major crop losses have taken place in the northern Karnataka.