Decaying rice crop | Photo: G R Rahul
Alappuzha: The farmers are in a state of complete dismay as the fields continue to remain flooded in the summer rains. The unpredictable rainfall patterns are destroying the farmlands across the state and the farmers are forced to pay the price for all this. The news of suicides of farmers is turning into tepid stories in recent days.
Usually, March-April, the summer period is the harvest season for the farmers in Kuttanad. But the hopes of poor farmers are overturned when rains barge in unannounced.
“I have never seen summer rains like this before. The harvest was supposed to happen in March. But due to flooding, the sowing of seeds was delayed. What can we do when nature turns against us? ” asks Varghese Cherian, a farmer in Upper Kuttanad facing difficulties due to the sudden climate change.
Acres of farmland in Edathua grama panchayat have been submerged for days now. Varghese’s wife Eliyamma says that they have been trying to remove the excess water from the field for over a week now. “We are on the fields working even during midnight doing what we can to drain the water from the fields. This is our livelihood. So we cannot leave the field under water,” says Eliyamma.
“The grains will sprout within 3 to 4 days if it stays in the water for that long. It will start decaying if it stays there so for more days,” says Babychan, another farmer from Edathua grama panchayat.
The lapses of the authorities in the timely payment of the insurance and compensation amount are pushing the farmers to further distress. The farmers are living in the hope that something will be done by the government to address their current state.