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Wheat crop affected in 5.23 lakh hectare due to unseasonal rains, hailstorm; Farmers waiting for compensation

PTI

New Delhi / Chandigarh / Bhopal / Jaipur, 2 April

Unseasonal rains, hailstorm and strong winds have affected wheat crop in over 5.23 lakh hectares in three states, raising fears of huge yield losses and harvesting challenges for farmers. According to officials, about 5.23 lakh hectares of wheat crop is estimated to be damaged in three states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – due to bad weather.

He said that the damage caused to the wheat crop in Punjab and Haryana is being assessed. This year the sown area of ​​wheat is around 34 lakh hectare. Officials said the government is estimating a record wheat production of 112.22 million tonnes in the current 2022-23 crop year (July-June).

Union Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja told PTI that the government will review with the state governments on Monday the damage caused to wheat and other rabi crops due to unseasonal rains in the last two to three days. Wheat is a major rabi (winter) crop. The rains have come at a time when the crop was almost ready for harvesting. Government procurement has started in some parts of Madhya Pradesh at the minimum support price.

For the last two weeks, major wheat producing states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have received unseasonal rains accompanied by thunderstorm, hailstorm and strong wind due to western disturbances. The unseasonal rains are expected to continue for a few more days. The wheat crop has suffered heavy losses due to bad weather. As against the average yield of 20 quintals per acre, this time it will come down to 10-11 quintals per acre.

Singh, who grows winter crops on 34 acres of land in Badarpur, said that in some places in his fields, the crop has also been destroyed due to strong wind. The wheat crop would suffer an average yield loss of 50 per cent due to unseasonal rains and high-velocity winds, he said and added that if the rains continued for more days, the crop would be completely submerged.

In Rajasthan too, out of the total sown area of ​​29.65 lakh hectares, about 3.88 lakh hectares of wheat crop has been affected due to unseasonal rains, official sources said.

Apart from wheat, crops of mustard, gram, barley and other vegetables have been affected in Rajasthan. Sources said mustard and gram crops have been damaged in about 1.54 lakh hectare and 1.29 lakh hectare respectively due to rains in the state.

Similarly, the recent unseasonal rains in Uttar Pradesh have damaged over 35,000 hectares of wheat crop, according to information provided by the Office of the Relief Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh. The maximum damage has been done in nine districts of the state – Agra, Bareilly, Chandauli, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Prayagraj, Unnao and Varanasi.

Uttar Pradesh Relief Commissioner Prabhu N Singh said that an estimated 1.25 lakh wheat farmers have been affected by the rains. Damage and loss are being assessed. So far, out of these, information of 43,142 farmers has been logged in our system.

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