Rajasthan— The recent rainfall and hailstorm that hit several parts of South Rajasthan, including 57 villages in the Udaipur district has brought with it unprecedented levels of distress for the farmers in the region. The Rabi crops that were at the growing stage have been completely ravaged, resulting in three months of hard work going to waste. Fields particularly in Mavli and VallabhNagar blocks have been inundated, causing further damage to crops that had already been weakened by the hail. The severe hailstorm has badly hit farmers in Vallabhnagar block where more than 80 percent crops are completely said to have been ruined.
A preliminary assessment has indicated that 11,256 hectares have been affected by intense rainfall. According to records from the agriculture department, mustard was cultivated in 9403 hectares of land in the Udaipur district, with 1250 hectares of this area being damaged. The rainfall has resulted in a 12% loss of crops for vegetables and a 13% loss for mustard.
Agriculture officers have undertaken a comprehensive tour of the affected fields to quantify the extent of the damage inflicted by the hailstorm. Madho Singh Champawat, the Joint Director, (extension) of the agriculture department and assistant director Devendra Pratap Singh visited the affected areas and spoke to the cultivators to know about the damage. These officials have been tasked with reaching out to farmers in a wider geographic area to gather a more comprehensive understanding of the loss that has been incurred. Upon the conclusion of their assessment, they will submit a meticulously crafted report to the state agriculture department.
One of the notable observations made during the field visits was that the recently harvested crop of mustard had been cast to the ground, while the wheat crops had become bowed and misshapen as a result of the force of the hailstorm. The sight of these once-promising fields now lying in ruin serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating impact that natural disasters can have on the livelihoods of farmers. Among other crops are chana, jau, and vegetables that have been damaged. The loss of these crops has not only had a profound effect on the livelihoods of the farmers in the area but has also led to a significant decline in the region's food security.
The government has asked the affected farmers to report their crop losses within 72 hours, however farmers claim the damage inflicted by the hailstorm is far-reaching and cannot be accurately assessed in such a short span of time. Furthermore, the compensation that the government is likely to offer will not be enough to cover the cost of the damage, leaving the marginalised section in a precarious financial situation.
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