Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar on Friday said that paddy crops of over 2,900 farmers from three talukas of North Goa district have been severely damaged by floodwater after downpour lashed the state last week leading to opening of gates of the Tillari dam.
The agriculture department has submitted a report to him on Friday on the estimated loss to crops in the talukas of Pernem, Bardez and Bicholim.
Kavlekar, who holds agriculture portfolio, said that over 2,900 farmers have been affected: crop losses have been pegged at around Rs 10 crore.
“I have visited the flood-affected villages of Bardez, Pernem and Bicholim talukas two days back and saw how the paddy crops have been destroyed by the floods. This has happened due to heavy rain and the release of water from the Tillari dam,” he explained, adding that for the first time paddy crop has been affected to this scale.
The Deputy Chief Minister said the government has prioritised on paying compensation to the farmers
“Once compensation is disbursed to the affected farmers, the agriculture department will launch various initiatives to give a fillip to agriculture… The youth will be encouraged to take up farming,” he added.
Giving details of crop losses in South Goa, agriculture director Madhav Kelkar on Friday said that nearly 280 farmers of Salcete taluka have suffered crop losses of Rs 27 lakh after the torrential rains devastated their paddy fields recently.
Kelkar told ‘The Navhind Times’ that 105 hectares of cultivated paddy fields at Fatorda and several farmlands coming under 16 village panchayats of the taluka have been damaged by the incessant rains.
“The agriculture department has assessed the crop losses, pegging them at Rs 27 lakh,” he added.
Assessment reports prepared by the department have indicated that Nuvem farmers have been the worst sufferers of the nature’s fury.
Around 280 farmers in the taluka have lost the paddy crops to the downpour, which devastated the fields after saplings were transplanted.
Throwing light on the extent of the crop losses, sources in the department said that nearly 50 farmers who cropped their paddy fields running into 20 hectares have been hit by the downpour. The crop loss has tentatively been pegged at Rs 5 lakh in Nuvem.
These paddy fields are mostly located along the national highway and interior areas of the village.
The crop damage assessment reports have said that a tract of 15 hectares cultivated by as many as 25 farmers of Loutolim have suffered crop losses of nearly Rs 4 lakh.
A cultivated area of 13 hectares at Raia has been damaged by the downpour, pushing 35 farmers to face the loss of around Rs 3.25 lakh.
Curtorim farmers have lost the paddy crop of around Rs 3 lakh. The loss of crop in Macazana has been pegged at Rs 2.5 lakh.
The other villages of the taluka that have suffered crop losses include St Jose de Areal, Seraulim, Telaulim, Paroda, Rachol, Colva, Dramapur-Sirlim, Ambelim, Chinchnim, Cavelossim and Chandor.
When this reporter visited some of the devastated paddy fields at Nuvem and Loutolim, it was found that most of these cultivated paddy fields still remain flooded.