Worry as heat wave hits Wayanad

The temperature touched 33.5 degree celsius on Thursday.

KOZHIKODE: With Wayanad reporting the highest temperature in a decade, farmers are worried about its impact.

The temperature touched 33.5 degree celsius on Thursday, the highest registered in February in the last decade, and the average temperature of February last year was just 18 degree celsius.

Dr P. Rajendran, director, Regional Agriculture Research Station at Ambalavayal, said the entire crops would be affected due to the soaring temperature.
“With the high temperature continuing, if we didn’t get copious summer showers soon, coffee, pepper and paddy would be hit hard,” he said.

It is flowering season for coffee and the pepper wines would not sustain in high temperature. “For the first time Wayanad experienced sunstroke this year, indicating a significant shift in weather pattern,” he added.

Experts say the situation is reminiscent of 2004 when River Kabani reduced to a mere bed of rock and sand and hundreds of acres of coffee and pepper sunburned.

Two panchayats of Pulpally and Mullankolly, known as the pepper basket of Wayanad, are yet to be revived from the massive destruction. Scientist Dr Anil Kumar, chief of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, said the intensity of the drought would be higher this year.

Instead of macro weather systems, it is high time we establish micro weather monitoring systems and each panchayat situating in weather hot spots can take lead in this,” he told DC.

“The border regions of Pulpally are close to the Deccan plateau and the climate across river Kabani is entirely different. There were serious discussions on growing a tree shield along the banks of Kabani to check heat wind from the plateau.”

However, farmers hope that there would be early summer showers this year as the mercury peaked in February itself. Normally the highest temperature of the district used to register by mid March and the summer showers also start by the end of the month.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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