Cyclone Tauktae: Crops damaged, orchards and plantations flattened in Gujarat

The stretch from Gir Somnath to Bhavnagar in Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions have been the most affected by high velocity winds and the heavy rains.

The Gujarat government has ordered a survey of damage to crops and horticulture reported from across the state after cyclone Tauktae flattened mango orchards and banana plantations and damaged coconut palms.

“The summer crop was completely damaged and horticulturists have also clocked phenomenal losses. The path that cyclone took is a hub of kesar mango growers. The mangoes that were ready for harvest in the next few weeks have fallen in the high-velocity winds and trees have been badly damaged or have got uprooted. Similarly, coconut palm growers in the coastal regions saw massive damage,” said Sagar Rabari, head of Khedut Ekta Manch.

The stretch from Gir Somnath to Bhavnagar in Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions have been the most affected by high-velocity winds and heavy rains.

“Places like Mahuva and Rajula in Bhavnagar district have large banana plantations. Even Kheda, Anand and Bharuch districts have large banana plantations. A number of these farmers have suffered heavy losses,” Rabari added.

The Gujarat government has initiated a survey of the crop loss in the cyclone-affected districts. “We have already started the survey work in Botad, Amreli, Junagadh and Gir Somnath to assess the damage to horticulture and agriculture,” said Manish Bharadwaj, secretary of agriculture and farmer’s welfare department.

“The summer crop seems to have been affected. Some of the pulses have been harvested but those standing have been damaged in Gir Somnath and Amreli where mango orchards have also been affected,” said Bhardwaj who is stationed in Gir Somnath for managing the rescue and relief work.

Farmers in 11 districts in the Saurashtra region that were on the path of the cyclone had sown summer crop in 3.04 lakh hectares this year, which is around one-third of the total 10.4 lakh hectares under summer crop in Gujarat. Apart from bajra, sesamum, green gram, groundnut, pearl millet, black gram were some of the summer crops sown this year.

In Ahmedabad, the summer paddy in Sanand, Bavla and Dholka has also been damaged by the high-velocity winds. Similarly, summer paddy in Surat and adjoining districts have also been damaged.

“The cyclonic winds are expected to head north towards Banaskantha later on Tuesday night. These winds have the potential to inflict further damage to summer crops in North Gujarat districts of Banaskantha and Sabarkantha,” Rabari added.

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