Heavy rain damages Kharif crop across India
Sep. 16, 2020
Heavy rainfall caused excessive crop damage in many states including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Goa. Data from Madhya Pradesh depicts that the dry spell in July followed by excess rain in August greatly affected the Kharif crops.
Paddy Crop Damaged Due to Rains in Gujarat and Goa
Excessive rainfall caused crop damage all over India. Significantly, the farmers in South Gujarat are in severe distress after incessant rain flooded their farmlands. According to Jayesh Patel, president of the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, the farmers may incur total losses of 100 crore rupees. Not just that, over 20-25% of the crop might be lost due to flooding. As a result, cultivators in the state are asking the government for financial aid to tide over the crisis.
Along with Gujarat, many areas of Goa also experienced heavy downpour. Zonal agricultural officer, Salcete, Shariff Furtado mentioned that many farmers have already filed for losses due to damage of the crop. Further, he attributed this to the inefficient drainage system that caused yields to remain waterlogged for a long time. Thus, the farmers’ livelihood is under significant distress.
Flooding Affects Crops in Telangana and Amritsar
In the South, floods ravaged many parts of Telangana and caused massive destruction. Until the beginning of this week, floods affected 2 lakh acres of agricultural fields in the state. Offering some solace, the State Agriculture Secretary, B Janardhan Reddy said that inundation of the crop was not a problem. Further, the crops are in the initial stage of cultivation. Therefore, they can survive for a few days when the field is flooded, he mentions. The actual damage is not yet assessed as they are waiting for the water to recede. Mr Reddy said that floods might have affected the green gram and groundnut crops in the state spanning 5000-10,000 acres.
Likewise, rains affected crops in Amritsar as well. Agricultural experts claimed that rain had affected only the early sown varieties. Additionally, the velocity of winds was comparatively less, so the paddy crop is mostly safe so far, said Sukhbir Singh, Agricultural Development Officer. Adding to that, he said that if in case humid and cloudy weather prevails, fungal diseases might affect the crop, but there are no signs of that yet. Despite that, he asked farmers to exercise caution.
Onion Prices to Touch 100 Rupees per Kg
The heavy rains not only affected the paddy crop. They also caused considerable damage to the early- Kharif onion crop in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Alongside, the floods also affected the onions stored from the bumper rabi harvest in Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP. Jaydutt Holkar, chairman of the APMC mandi at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra reports that there is at least a 15% crop loss in Maharashtra.
Owing to the severe damage, onion prices skyrocketed all over the country. Retail prices neared 50 per kg in Mumbai and Kolkata and touched 60 per kg in Delhi. The wholesale prices also doubled in many major markets. Further, traders expect it to reach 100 per kg shortly, especially if the current situation continues.
Increase in Farmer Suicides Due to Heavy Rain
Unfortunately, the number of farmers dying by suicide increased in the country due to massive flooding in many significant areas. A critical study led by Robin A Richardson at the department of epidemiology, Columbia University with researchers from McGill University in Canada and IIT Gandhinagar found that farmer suicides in the country increased during flooding than during drought.
Further, very wet conditions can be very damaging to crops because of limited means to face situations. For example, drought can be met through irrigation. However, it is not easy to handle heavy rains and loss due to flooding, said Vimal Mishra, associate professor, civil engineering, IIT Gandhinagar.
Ramanjaneyulu GV, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Telangana mentions that marginal farmers, women, and Dalits were the most affected in the rain-fed area. Also, he notes that insurance mechanisms like PM Kisan must be available to all workers.
In conclusion, we can see that rainfall and flooding causes damage and destruction at various levels in the country. The damage includes crop loss, price increase, and devastating farmer suicides. Thus, we must take into account the devastating effect of floods and provide better protection to the farmers of our country.
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