The coffee bearing areas of Karnataka and Kerala are reported to have been affected by crop loss of 33 per cent due to natural calmities.
Karnataka suffered a crop loss in around 97,365 hectares out of the total bearing area of 2,26,244 hectares of coffee and spices plantations. An area of 620 hectares is reported to have been affected by landslides or floods. In Kerala, an area of about 850 hectares has been reported to be affected and about an area of 16 hectares of plantations are reported to have been affected by landslides or floods.
The Coffee Board’s Extension teams carried out preliminary surveys (current year) in the calamity affected areas both in Karnataka and Kerala to estimate the extent of damage to the coffee plantations due to flooding or landslides and damage to standing coffee crop due to premature fruit drop and fungal diseases, said the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
As per the assessment made by the Directorate of Horticulture, Karnataka, 11502 hectares of black pepper, 3184 hectares of ginger, 573 hectares of turmeric and 25891 hectares of chilli have been severely affected in the state due to heavy rain this year.
In Kerala, the Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare made an assessment of crop damages due to heavy rain. In total 167.79 hectare was affected, including 40.23 hectare of pepper, 88.67 hectare of nutmeg, 13.25 hectare of ginger, 25.08 hectare of cardamom and 0.56 hectare of clove. Nearly 7,658 farmers were affected due to the damage.
The Spices Board had assisted the Karnataka government in the assessment of the damage caused to the cardamom plantations due to heavy rains in the Coorg district. As per the report, about 1800 hectares of cardamom plantations have been affected with a crop loss of more than 33 per cent. The report has been submitted to the state government.
Under the extant provisions of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), relief in the form of input subsidy for agriculture crops, horticulture crops, annual plantation crops, perennial crops and sericulture is provided when crops loss is 33% and above. For the perennial crops, norms of assistance are Rs 18,000 per hectare.
The Coffee Board, Spices Board and Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development have not constituted any Task Force during the current year to assess the extent of damage due to natural calamity.
Coffee and Spices need a minimum of 3-4 years for economic yield after planting.