‘Compensation if 50 p.c. crop loss is reported’

Unseasonable rains in the last week of December 2009 have wrought havoc on coffee plantations in Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan districts.

The growers are not sure whether compensation would be provided for the damages caused to the standing coffee crop by the unseasonable rainfall in the recent past. During the year 2009-10 (till October 5, 2009), 18,914 growers in Kodagu submitted applications to the Coffee Board here seeking compensation for crop loss. But, the Board recommended payment of compensation to 359 applicants who reported over 50 per cent crop loss.

Deputy Director (Extension) of the Board, N. Rangaswamy Reddy, told The Hindu on Thursday that 8,471 applications were received from the Gonicoppa, Srimangala, Siddapur and Virajpet in the Virajpet taluk, 5,272 applications from Madikeri and Napoklu zones in Madikeri taluk, and 5,171 from the Somwarpet, Sunticoppa and Shanivarasante zones in Somwarpet taluk.

However, the crop loss, covering mainly Robusta variety, was found to be high in the Napoklu zone of Madikeri taluk, ranging from eight to 35 per cent (except in 10 villages). The survey team assessed the loss after the monsoon, Mr. Reddy said. The unseasonable rains in the district in the last week of December was not taken into account while assessing the loss. Over 70 per cent of Arabica crop had been harvested before the unseasonable rains, he added.

Loss due to excessive rainfall, damage to plants because of trees falling down, wind, pest attacks and other reasons in Madikeri zone was assessed between five to 10 per cent. It was between five to 30 per cent in Somwarpet zone, five to 32 per cent in the Sunticoppa zone and six to 16 per cent in the Shanivarasante zone, all in the northern parts of the district. In the southern parts of Kodagu, loss was put between six and 12 per cent in Gonicoppa zone, between five and 25 per cent in the Srimangala zone, between five and 15 per cent in the Siddapur zone and between 12 and 23 per cent in the Virajpet zone. The question of paying compensation would arise only if 50 per cent crop loss was reported, Mr. Reddy clarified.

-The Hindu

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