Cyclone Fani: Initial estimate pegs crop damage at Rs. 150 crore -Priscilla Jebaraj
35 lakh poultry birds killed in Odisha
The initial estimate of Cyclone Fani’s damage to standing crops in Odisha has been pegged at Rs. 150 crore, but the State Agriculture Department warns that the destruction of storage facilities and harvested crops stored in the open could further spike those losses.
Low insurance penetration could also exacerbate farmers’ losses, especially in the poultry sector.
“Because of the advance warning, it was possible to evacuate larger livestock, but it was impossible to move poultry. A large number of birds, mostly broilers, were killed,” said Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Odisha’s Department of Agriculture. According to the latest situation report, poultry casualties had hit 34.52 lakh, and more than 53 lakh birds were affected.
With regard to larger animals that would have been insured, the Agriculture Department held discussions with insurance company officials on Friday to instruct them that documentation requirements should not be onerous. Livestock casualties included 2,082 larger animals, mostly cows and buffaloes, and 2,202 smaller animals, mostly goats.
Initial calculations of compensation to be paid for poultry and livestock losses are about Rs.10 crore, according to Vishal Gagan, Secretary of the State’s Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department.
Another concern is the safe disposal of the carcasses. “There has been some concern about contamination of water bodies, although we are ensuring that burial is done away from homes,” said Mr. Gagan, adding that health and sanitation teams had been called in to ensure safe disposal.
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