Munderi seed farm suffered extensive damage in floods

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 17:31:21 

The Government Seed Garden Complex at Munderi, near Nilambur, popularly called the Munderi Seed Farm, suffered extensive damage when the Chaliyar flooded devastatingly last month. Several areas of the 505-hectare seed garden complex continue to remain inaccessible as the roads were washed away in the floods.

The initial estimates by officials have fixed the loss at 5 crore.

The floodwaters washed away 15,000 coconut seedlings and 40,000 coconut seed-nuts.

As many as 500 high quality coconut trees were uprooted.

K.M. Koya, assistant director of the seed garden, said they lost 40,000 pepper rooted cuttings, eight pepper sheds, 1,000-odd areca nut plants, 11 large water pump sets, two pumping stations, and solar fencing stretching about 3 km.

About 150 hectares of farmland was destroyed as inundation left a heavy sedimentation of soil.

Tarred roads along the bank of the Chaliyar disappeared at several places as the floods left marks of heavy erosion and landslips.

We lost about a km stretch of our road, said Mr. Koya. However, he said the land silted by the river could be salvaged.

Power supply

Power lines were destroyed at many places. Although the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has begun work to restore the power lines, supply is yet to be re-established in the garden complex.

Luckily, we did not have any casualty. But the destruction was the worst ever. Giant trees that came along with the floodwaters with a fierce force rammed and destroyed our constructions, including a concrete bridge across the Chaliyar, said Mr. Koya.

The Chaliyar has changed its direction at several places, including Munderi.

When planning a restoration, we ought to take this fact into consideration, said Mr. Koya. The government has proposed to form a special team of engineers and experts for the restoration of the seed garden complex.

High-quality seeds

The seed garden complex is well known for its supply of high-quality seeds and seedlings across the State.

Apart from preparing high-yield coconut and areca nut seedlings, it supplies rooted pepper cuttings, grafted sapota, mango and cashew plants, and a wide variety of medicinal plants.

We also maintain farming activities and prepare hybrid varieties of coconut plants like DxT. We have honey production and we employ integrated farming techniques, said Mr. Koya.

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