The Reunion Chamber of Agriculture estimated the damage inflicted on farms by the intense cyclone Batsirai near the island on 3 and 4 February at 47 million euros.

This report will be presented to Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of Overseas who will be on the island from Sunday to Tuesday.

Of these 47 million euros, “the plant sector, market gardening, flower crops, arboriculture… alone records 44 million losses”, underlined Friday Frédéric Vienne, president of the chamber of agriculture.

The impact of the torrential rains and gusts of wind sometimes blowing at 150 km / h "was not the same everywhere but all regions of the island were affected", notes the agricultural leader.

More than 900 hectares of fruit and vegetables were lost.

50% of greenhouses and above-ground structures were affected.

State of natural disaster recognized

On Wednesday, the State recognized the state of natural disaster for 19 of the 24 municipalities of Reunion.

"The whole island should be placed under this status," said Thierry Silotia, deputy secretary of the Chamber of Agriculture: "some farmers have lost everything."

The main crops of Stéphane Fontaine, a farmer in Saint-Pierre (south of the island) have been devastated.

“Between the lost plants, the greenhouses and the damaged irrigation system, there are 25,000 and 30,000 euros worth of damage,” he calculates, pushing a crate of damaged passion fruit with his foot.

“Of the 80 crates of passion fruit that I expected, I only have one and it is not even filled,” he laments.

Horticulturist in the south of the island, Danylo Tailame had planned to sell 5,000 roses for Valentine's Day.

Its greenhouses have been destroyed.

"Between the structures and the lost flowers, this presents more than 50,000 euros in damage," he said.

For the moment he is drawing on his cash to try to "start again", but "will not last long".

Milk and lost poultry

The livestock sector has not been spared.

A hundred cattle were swept away by the waves.

380,000 liters of milk were lost and 32,000 poultry died due to power cuts, "but also because the access roads were destroyed, thus preventing producers from reaching their farms", explains Frédéric Vienne.

Losses in this sector are estimated at 2.2 million euros.

The repair of access roads and infrastructures represents more than one million euros.

Frédéric Vienne will be received by the Overseas Minister.

“I hope he will hear our distress and that he will act quickly,” wishes François Bénard, a farmer in the north of Reunion.


Cyclone Batsirai: 19 municipalities in Reunion classified as natural disasters


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