Rain affects horticultural crops

Tunga river inundating arecanut plantation at Narve village in Koppa.

Heavy rain that lashed the region has taken a toll on horticultural crops especially arecanut, coffee and black pepper. The north-east monsoon has also affected paddy cultivation.

The arecanut harvest should have commenced now. The rain has affected the harvest. Further, pepper vines are affected by ‘Soragu’ disease.

It is the time for the formation of paddy corns. The rain has affected paddy cultivation and farmers are worried of losing the crop. Owing to the increase in moisture content, the arecanuts have started falling on the farm. The farmers are not able to dry arecanuts as well.

Coffee grower Prakash Kauri said, “Coffee beans have started withering in the rain. I have already lost 150 bags of coffee beans. Further, about 30 quintal arecanuts have been lost following fruit-rot disease affecting the plants. Last year, I had harvested 60 quintals black pepper. This year, I may get only 10 quintal black pepper.”

Speaking to DH, Horticultural department officer M K Shivakumar said horticultural crops are cultivated on 5,177 hectare in Koppa taluk. Arecanut and pepper on 1,174 hectare have been lost in the rain. Increase in moisture has resulted in Soragu disease for pepper vines.

While in Narasimharajapura taluk, 3,030.47 hectare arecanut is cultivated in B Kanabooru limits, while 2,329.52 hectare in Muthinakoppa Kasaba hobli. 

The farmers are fearing that about 40 % of the arecanut harvest would be lost in the rain in N R Pura taluk.

Pepper is cultivated on 1,159.26 hectare in B Kanabooru and 640 hectare in Kasaba hobli in the taluk. Owing to the vagaries in nature, the pepper vines have started drying in the region. About 80 % of the crop would be lost in the fruit-rot disease affecting pepper.

Even rubber growers are also affected following rain. Continuous rainfall has affected tapping. Owing to the rain, even labourers are jobless.  The crash in the price of arecanut, rubber and pepper has also worried the growers.

Farmer Manjunath from Shettikoppa said,  “Owing to continuous rain, we are unable to dry arecanuts. If the arecanuts are not dried, then it may catch fungus, which in turn affects the price. If the rain continues, we may lose all the crops,” he feared.

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