Kochi, June 30: For cardamom farmers in Kerala reeling under fall in prices, high cost of labour and increased prices of fertilizers and pesticides, Spices Board has provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs.7.21 crore to more than 23,000 farmers from the Cardamom Development Fund Trust.
The crop loss, due to deficient rainfall and high temperature, is likely to be up to 20-25% and plant loss about 5-10% in Idukki district during the season 2016-17.
"The decision to provide financial assistance to 23,232 farmers was taken after making field observations and feedbacks obtained from individual farmers, farmers’ associations and Spices Board officials. The erratic weather had severely affected the yield and plant loss of cardamom", said Dr A Jayathilak, Chairman, Spices Board.
The withering of leaves and leaf sheaths was observed in a large number of cardamom plants. In some extreme cases, even tillers and panicles had completely dried up in severely affected plantations, he pointed out.
The long dry spell from December 2015 to the first fortnight of May this year had adversely affected the cardamom plantations in Idukki district as this period is critical for the development of tillers and panicle initiation.
The impact of long dry spell may affect the production and productivity in the ensuing season and the fluctuating weather is not considered a favourable sign for the cardamom farmers.
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