Unseasonal Rain, Hail Batter Standing Crops in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: Unseasonal rain and hailstorm over the last couple of days have caused heavy damage to crops in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. While bad weather has mostly affected horticulture crops in the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra, rabi crops like wheat and gram have been impacted in about eight districts of Madhya Pradesh. Both the states have ordered an assessment of the damage caused to standing crops.

In Maharashtra, the worst affected districts include Beed, Jalna, Osmanabad, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Dhule, Nandurbar and Aurangabad districts. In Jalna district alone, almost 95% of land in about 175 villages growing grapes and sweet lime has been badly affected.

“A total of 46,474 hectares, including non-irrigated and irrigated land, and horticulture garden has been damaged. Of that, 43,824 hectares has been damaged by more than 33 per cent,” Divisional commissioner of Aurangabad Purushottam Bhapkar told reporters.

“This year the entire crop has been ruined. I don’t know what to do. How do I pay for my kids’ education?” asks Kailash Jadhav, who grew pomegranates and grapes.

In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, it’s a similar story for farmers across 400 villages, who had mostly grown wheat and gram. The districts of Sehore and Raisen have been the worst affected. Farmers who grew gram had already been making losses as they were getting less that the minimum support price of Rs. 4,400 per quintal announced by the government.

COMMENTS”I had grown gram on 10 acres of land. It was ready for harvest but now everything has been damaged in the hailstorm. I am staring at a 75 per cent loss,” Harish Singh Meena, a farmer in Raisen district,

On Monday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that farmers affected by the rain and hailstorm would be compensated but he didn’t spell out details.