Panaji: Typhoon Tauktae has left the agricultural sector in Goa devastating – leaving horticultural crops uprooted and causing fruit to fall – in addition to a path of destruction. The agriculture department puts the statewide losses at Rs 30 crore.
Farmers who opted for later sowing of rice were most affected by the downpour due to rain combined with strong winds that flattened the crops in many areas.
Vegetable crops such as ladyfinger, brinjal and sweet potato were damaged due to water logging in the fields while mango, banana and coconut plantations were damaged by typhoon Tauktae.
After this, scientists and agricultural experts tried to keep farmers on the path to recovery.
From the selection of crop varieties that are more resilient to climate change to the use of mechanized technologies such as transplanters and harvesters, changing weather parameters call for a paradigm shift in traditional farming practices.
“Mitigation adaptation measures are necessary for farmers to make them better prepared to face environmental forces,” said ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute director Parveen Kumar.
An important form of robust technology offered to farmers is the three-hour Agromet Advisory Services (AAS) to keep them informed of weather changes. This bulletin is one of the largest agrometeorological information programs in the world that collects and organizes climate, weather, soil and crop information and combines it with weather forecasts to help farmers make the appropriate measures to avoid yield loss.
On their respective farms and orchards, farmers are involved in filling the gap by planting new crops to replace those pulled by Tauktae, last year. While it may take three to five years for these crops to grow into trees, farmers ensure that the damaged soil can be productive again under the guidance of technical officials of the agriculture department. , ICAR-CCARI scientists and experts from the Agriculture Technology Management Agency. .
Some farmers believe that returning the roots and extracting leaves from history could possibly protect them from environmental ambush.
“Earlier, we planted salt tolerant rice variants like Korgut and Xitto that can withstand flooding of rainwater in the field. Since their yield is small and variants like Jaya and Jyoti provide more yield, the farmers decided to grow it. Our ancestors knew what would work for Goan land, so it was time we learned from them and switched variants, ”said Chinchinim-based community farmer Agnelo Furtado .
Some even have a more cautious outlook on the future of agriculture in the state.
“I left my crops after facing many losses over many years, not just hurricane Tauktae. Many of us are still waiting for compensation from the government for our crop losses. The only safety net right now is that taking out crop insurance to ensure we don’t face huge financial losses due to unpredictable weather, ”said a Sattari-based farmer.
“It is also good to get involved in composting, vermicompost or other aspects of agriculture that are not directly affected by the weather,” he added.