Agri Business

Rains in Maharashtra damage kharif crop on 50 lakh hectare

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

‘Many farmers may not be able to even recover their sowing expenses’

With the Covid-19 pandemic-led lockdown disrupting the rural economy, farmers who were banking on a bumper kharif crop is facing a major setback with massive rains damaging crop on an estimated 50 lakh hectare.

The State has 141.98 lakh hectare kharif crop (except sugarcane), of which 144.99 lakh hectare (102 per cent) sowing was completed by October 12. The kharif crop area, including sugarcane, is 151.33 lakh hectare, of which 147.22 lakh hectare (97.29 per cent) is under cultivation this season.

“Massive rains in the last few days have damaged kharif crops. The initial estimate is that kharif crops spread over 50 lakh hectare has been damaged. The government is trying to conduct damage assessment but rains continue across the State. Cotton and soybean, the major kharif crops in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, are most affected,” Kishor Tiwari, head of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, the government’s task force for farmers, told BusinessLine. The State has recorded cotton cultivation on 42.82 lakh hectare, soya on 42.48 lakh hectare, and paddy on 15.35 lakh hectare in this season.

Also read: Why a delayed monsoon withdrawal is a bane and a boon for farmers

In the Nashik region known for onion cultivation, farmers have reported that onion saplings and seed plots have been damaged. Grape cultivation in the region also stands affected due to rains. Vegetable plots in western Maharashtra districts, including Sangli, Satara, and Kolhapur, were completely inundated. The region provides veggies to Mumbai and other cities in the State.

The loss due to rains will have a major impact on farmers. The government is still conducting loss assessment due to rains in September, and now the October rains have added to the woes of farmers.

“Farmers are already reeling under debt and losses due to continuous lockdowns and now the kharif crop is damaged. Many farmers may not even be able to recover their sowing expenses. The State, insurance companies, and central government must step in fast to help the farmers,” said Sanju Chavan, a farmer.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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