Bhubaneswar: Extremely Severe Cyclone Fani may have passed, but the devastations it wrought on May 3 in at least 11 coastal Odisha districts has left behind a trail of distress for countless farmers.
The farmers have lost acres of standing crops like paddy, moong, blackgram and sugarcane and have no hope getting any return on their investment.
Paddy cultivators and horticulture farmers who grew coconut, banana, lemon, betel leaf and mango have suffered huge losses as their orchards have been completely devastated.
Reports from Chandikhole in Jajpur district said a 25-year-old farmer who grew sugarcane attempted to end his life as his crop was completely wiped away by the strong wind of Fani. Identified as Sanjib Panda, the farmer is undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College in critical conditions.
Coconut and banana growers in Puri, Jagatisinghpur and Khurda districts are staring at dark days ahead.
“In 1999 Super Cyclone, I had suffered huge losses as my coconut orchard was completely damaged by the strong wind that blew over 300 kmph. With much difficulty, I had planted 150 more coconut plants in 2000 which had started giving fruits after five years. Fani has damaged 145 of these trees. I was earning nearly `50,000 from my orchard. Now, I’m completely ruined,” said Ganagdhar Sahoo, a 70-year-old farmer of Teishipur in Puri district.
Prakash Chandra Parida, a betel leaf farmer of Chandanpur, said he lost three of his orchards.
“I have invested nearly Rs 1 lakh that I borrowed from my friends in my three orchards and expected to earn about Rs 3 lakh. Now, all my hope is gone. I’m pondering how to repay the loan,” said Parida.
Aparti Swain, a banana grower, said he suffered a loss of nearly Rs 5 lakh.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced that the farmers will be compensated after the crop damage is assessed....