Escalating heat affecting traditional coconut tree climbers
Kannur: The intense heat has affected the coconut trees in the state too. Though the working hours have been limited to the morning, the traditional coconut tree climbers stop their job halfway as their feet tend to slip from the tree due to heat.
The labourers at Pilicode Regional Agricultural Research Station have to climb upto 60 coconut trees despite the hot weather. There are 25-30 metre tall coconut trees in the plantation here.
The labourers said that climbing trees ignoring the heat affects their feet and eyes. The authorities clarified that the number of trees to be climbed a day has been fixed as the university rules.
The coconut tree climbers in the local areas also reduced their work and they climb trees only in the morning hours in case of any urgent requirements. However, those who use machines to climb the tree are not directly affected by the heat.
The coconut tree climbers are affected by the increase in the atmospheric temperature while climbing the tree, said Dr. C. Thamban, senior scientist at the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute in Kasaragod.
Pilicode Regional Agricultural Research Station Associate Director Dr. K. N. Satheesh said the escalating temperature increase the heat of coconut trees as well. He added that it is ideal to climb coconut trees early morning and evening.
The coconut plantation owners have started hiring migrant labourers due to the shortage of traditional coconut tree climbers. However, the migrant labourers lack experience in the job and tend to pluck even tender coconuts from the trees resulting in huge loss to the owners.