Bananas worst affected by Indian floods

The Tamil Nadu region of India is experiencing major flooding at the moment following the wettest November in a century.

The banana farmers in the region are taking the biggest hits from the downpours and are not able to get a good price for their bananas. Farmers are not willing to sell the bananas at these low prices and are not sending the bananas to market. This has led to many being destroyed.

Many parts of India suffer flooding every year during the annual monsoon rains from June to September. The northeast monsoon has been particularly vigorous over southern India and more so in Tamil Nadu state, and the capital city Chennai has been devastated by the flood waters. 490 mm rain fell 1 December, the highest in 100 years.

This region of India does not produce much fruit or vegetables, the biggest crop here is bananas. But Nagesh Shetty from Deccan Produce said that due to the rain and floods fewer fruits are moving into south so the demand is subdued. Oranges are one of fruits which is experiencing a glut at the moment.

Girish Sarda, Marketing Manager at Seven Star explains, “Chennai has a major port supplying southern India and the distribution channels will be definitely affected, with problems on train services.” He goes on to say that the mango production in the area should not be affected as it mainly goes to the processing industry.

"It remains to be seen what impact these weather conditions will have on the areas devoted to grapes, but we are expecting some showers in Nashik by next week, which is a major processing area for grapes in India. What is clear is that the weather is changing and the conditions are certainly different compared with the same period last year.” Nevertheless Sarda is expecting a good grape season.

The Chennai port has seen disruptions over the last four weeks and was closed for 10 days according to Gvk Naidu, Director of Sam Agritech. "It is the hub for importing fruits, there will also be an impact on domestic products, but despite what has happened regular operation will be back soon. People don't really panic, we stay positive."

According to Tarun Arora, IG International the transportation of fruit and vegetables around Chennai, it is better today. "Trucks are able to pass the city and we expect that operation will go back to normal. Chennai is an important distribution area so it was a critical situation." The water is going down now and he thinks there will be no massive impact for the coming days.

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