Climate Change · Dam floods · Dam Induced Flood Disaster · Dams · Floods

Impacts on cropland: 2019 Maharashtra Floods

Photo-Blog 3

Flood-hit districts of Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara are leading agri-producers in Maharashtra. They are also the historic sugarcane growing regions of the state. Assured water availability and rich soils have made these regions prosperous cultivators of sugarcane, grapes, bananas, groundnuts and other oilseeds like soybeans and also vegetables.

August 2019 Floods in Upper Krishna basin in Maharashtra resulted in submergence of thousands of hectares of cropland in these districts for nearly a week. Sugarcane is a hardy crop and can withstand drought and floods remarkably. But even the hardy cane has suffered massive losses. Cane which was under water for over 5 days has wilted and caught fungus. According to the Sugar Commissionarate, sugarcane was planted over 1.52 lakh hectares in Kolhapur and 95, 827 hectares in Sangli. Almost 40% of this crop has suffered massive losses and this may bring down the sugar production in the state in 2019-20 substantially.

While some such ball-park figures are available for sugarcane, losses to other crops are not in public domain till now. Central NDMA team has visited these districts to assess flood losses and the State is supposedly urging to have separate criteria to asses losses to sugarcane and grapes. Let us hope that all farmers are equitably compensated.

As Abhay Kanvinde visited the regions to look at flood impacts, it is clear that  crops like Bananas, Grapes, groundnut, soyabean, vegetables etc., have suffered.

Resilience of the farming community, some of whom have already started replanting, is simply astounding.

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Entire Banana Plantations in Khidrapur with nearly perfect Bananas lost. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Entire Banana Plantations in Khidrapur with nearly perfect Bananas lost. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Entire Banana Plantations in Khidrapur with nearly perfect Bananas lost. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
Grape Plantations rendered lifeless in Sangli-Kolhapur border Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Sugarcane crop wilted in Shirol, Kolhapur Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Sugarcane crop wilted in Shirol, Kolhapur Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Sugarcane crop wilted in Shirol, Kolhapur Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Farmers in Khidrapur are trying to plant new sugarcane in fields after taking down damaged crop Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Farmers are trying to plant new sugarcane in fields after taking down damaged crop Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Swift crop loss compensation will be a need for many families like this one in Sangli as they have invested money, taken loans for a crop that is now lost Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Farmers are trying to plant new sugarcane in fields after taking down damaged crop Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Mrs. Chothe from Akivat, Kolhapur showing the extent of sugarcane loss Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Sugarcane crop wilted in Khidrapur, Kolhapur Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Wilted, damaged sugarcane crop being taken off the field. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Wilted, damaged sugarcane crop being taken off the field. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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Wilted, damaged sugarcane crop being taken off the field. Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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State Transport Bus traverses the ravaged landscape Photo: Abhay Kanvinde
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An overcast landscape on Sangli-Kolhapur border Photo: Abhay Kanvinde

Rohit Kulkarni from Khidrapur talks about loss to his sugarcane crop and his house after being in water for a week . Video by Abhay Kanvinde

~ SANDRP (parineeta.dandekar@gmail.com)

NOTE: For the other three photo blogs in this series, see:

  1. https://sandrp.in/2019/10/02/homes-in-deluge-aftermath-of-maharashtra-floods-2019/
  2. https://sandrp.in/2019/10/03/breaching-historic-flood-levels-many-times-over-aftermath-of-ghataprabha-floods-2019/
  3. https://sandrp.in/2019/10/10/sangli-and-narsoba-wadi-painted-red-with-record-flood-levels/

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