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The region is pounded by heavy rain every monsoon, but this time Olpad and Navsari were lashed by 15 inch rain in just few hours

Heavy rains cause massive losses to shrimp farmers

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

Shrimp farms were washed away after 15 inch of rainfall in Olpad and Navsari in just four hours

Shrimp farmers in Olpad and Kim talukas of Surat and Bilimora town of Navsari district are staring huge losses after torrential rain and flash floods in rivers left their farms marooned in the last few days.

Farmers claim they will lose business worth INR 200 crores (USD 28 million) as nearly 500 shrimp ponds in these areas have completely washed away.

Sources said that majority of the shrimp farms located in the coastal fringes in Olpad and Bilimora talukas have suffered maximum losses. The infrastructure and machinery including aerators, pumps, nets and other material has been washed away.

Farmers were preparing for the harvesting season when the floods fury hit them. At least 5,000 workers connected with these farms have lost their earnings due to huge losses to the owners.

Photo: courtesy Time of India

The region is pounded by heavy rain every monsoon, but this time Olpad and Navsari were lashed by 15 inch rain in just few hours.

Manoj Sharma, an advisory board member of Gujarat fisheries department and a shrimp farmer himself, told TOI: “The incessant downpour in Olpad taluka on August 2 that continued for eight to nine hours has wiped out the shrimp ponds in this area.”

Sharma said, “Around 7,000 farmers were trained by the government in aquaculture farming and they were promised land allotment. Many were allotted land, still more farmers are waiting. However, they have started farming on the promised areas without waiting for the allotment”.

Unlike the conventional farmers, there are no relief schemes for those in shrimp business, despite majority of them paying 30% income tax.

Ramesh Patel, a shrimp farmer near Kim said, “My entire 10 hectare farm has been washed away. We were about to harvest the shrimps when the heavy rain destroyed everything”.

South Gujarat’s shrimp exports per annum is pegged at INR 2,000 crore (USD 280.7 million) . The shrimp farming is done on about 6.5 lakh hectares (650,000 ha) land in south Gujarat under the five hectare per person scheme of the state government.


Author: Melvyn Thomas | Times of India


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