Agri Business

Crops in Guj, Rajasthan hit by rain; farmers knock at govt door

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on April 19, 2019 Published on April 19, 2019

File photo of a mustard farm outside Ahmedabad. Sesame seed, wheat, pulses, mustard and castor seed are some of the crops affected by the hailstorm and unseasonal rains in Western India   -  THE HINDU

Horticulture farmers and wheat growers are the worst hit

After a devastating hailstorm and unseasonal rains earlier this week in parts of Western India that damaged crops, farmers in Rajasthan and Gujarat are now pinning their hopes on the government assistance to make up for the losses. The worst hit are horticulture farmers and wheat growers, who were in the middle of the harvest season.

According to estimates by farmers, 20 per cent of the crops in Rajasthan and Gujarat has been damaged due to hailstorm and rains. The affected crops include summer sesame seed, wheat, pulses, mustard and castor seed.

The Gujarat wing of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) has approached State government seeking compensation to farmers who have suffered losses.

“There are massive losses on the fields and also at the marketing yards under APMCs. Ideally, APMCs (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee) should take the responsibility of the losses and damages occurring at their premises due to climatic adversity, as they charge cess from farmers and avail of subsidy from the government to build the infrastructure. They must be held responsible for the damages due to unseasonal rains and storm,” said Vitthal Dudhatra, President, BKS-Gujarat Pradesh.

Dudhatra said a representation has already been made to the State government seeking relief and compensation for the damages to the crop. “We have demanded that a crop damage assessment survey be conducted and adequate compensation be given to farmers,” he said.

Farmers in Rajasthan and North Gujarat have expressed the hope that the government would support them. “Farmers have suffered a dual impact. First, their standing crop suffered losses due to rains and secondly, the quality of the stored crop started deteriorating due to increased levels of moisture. This will prompt them to rush their produce to markets and resort to distress selling. This may cause losses to them,” said Rakesh Dhariwal, a leading trader in Palanpur.

“Horticulture crops such as watermelon and honeydew melon were badly hit. While standing crops of chana (chickpea) and mustard suffered heavy damages in Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat,” added Dhariwal.

Published on April 19, 2019
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