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Torrential rains diminish business aspects of plantation crops in Kerela

- Gauri Naik

18th October 2021: Extended south west monsoon brings rains in Travancore belt disrupting the chances of plantation crops such as tea, cardamom, rubber and pineapple when the sector was slowly and steadily recovering from its previous losses. The tea production in Munnar, Velaparai and Vendiperiyar has been intensely affected by the unusual climate change. Normally the South West monsoons would subside by August but this time the monsoons have overstayed till September and October and such overstay has affected the production of many plantation crops including tea and hence the numbers for the current fiscal would be affected

Unpredictable October rains have disrupted the production of rubber causing mental trauma on the farmers. The continuous flow of morning rains disrupted the production making it harder even to tap rain guarded trees. Furthermore, landslides and flash floods in important rubber producing areas such as Mundakkayam, Mallappili, Manimala in Kottayam district have caused irreparable damage to the rubber plantations

George Valy, President of Indian Rubbers Federation said that “only if continuous tapping of sunlight is assured, only then a reasonable amount of production can be assured. Due to production loss in first 15 days of October the supply situation is tight. In absence of sufficient arrivals tyre companies are not active in the market and their entry will add the pressure on farmers who grow rubber”

Havoc rains from July have affected the production causing a downfall in soil fertility in slopping terrains which also has led to slow flowering. Fungal issues are also common in cardamom plants due to many reasons such as fertiliser application, insecticide spraying along with the weather-related situations forcing farmers to spend more on control related diseases than concentrate on improving productivity

“The prices for pineapple have gone down from Rs 35kg to Rs 20kg because of the continuous rains in the past 15 days making it difficult for the plantation of new crops” said Baby John, president of Pineapple Growers Association.


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