The widespread hailstorm in the last two-three days has dashed the hopes of mango farmers in several districts of Telangana. With hailstorms damaging the mango trees at the flowering stage, the farmers in several districts are in a quandary.
In a normal year, the State grows mangoes in 1.30 lakh hectares and produces 11.65 lakh tonnes(lt) of fruit. This year, the farmers are hoping to reap 12-13 lt, going by the growth of the crop. The exact extent of loss to mango farmers will be known after the official enumeration in the next few days. Initial estimates suggest that it could impact the availability of mangoes in the market.
Mango is a key horticultural crop in the State, constituting nearly half of the aggregate fruit production of 24.79 lt. Apart from mangoes, capsicum, cabbage, chillis, watermelon, and onion crops too were damaged extensively.
Telangana Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy, along with officials, visited hailstorm-effected areas in Vikarabad district.
Telangana Rythu Sangham leader Bonthu Rambabu has asked the government to pay compensation to farmers for crop losses. “The government has not provided any financial help to farmers that suffered heavily during several natural calamities since 2014,” he said.
“According to preliminary estimates, crops in 60,000 hectares belonging to 80,000 farmers was damaged. We are in the processing enumerating the total loss,” Palla Rajeswara Reddy, President of Rythu Bandhu Samiti, said.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi Working President KT Rama Rao conducted a tele-conference with MLAs and asked them to visit the areas affected by the hailstorm.
Meanwhile, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, held a review meeting with top officials at Tadepally to review the losses caused by rains in the State.