Unseasonal Rain and Hailstorms Devastate Crops in UP, MP & Rajasthan

Farmers who had been eagerly waiting for the harvesting of their rabi crops were caught off guard by the unanticipated onset of unseasonal rains, which pounded various parts of the country in mid-March.
Unseasonal Rain and Hailstorms Devastate Crops in UP, MP & Rajasthan

Lucknow: The intermittent downpour persisted for a stretch of three days, causing flooding in fields that were abundant with crops. To compound the situation, gusty winds mercilessly flattened the standing wheat crop, inflicting heavy damages on the farmers' harvest.

The Mooknayak conducted a field visit to the rural areas of Lucknow to assess the extent of the havoc wrought by this untimely fury of nature. While the agricultural department conducted a survey of the damages, the farmers themselves have also estimated the extent of their losses.

Damage to Wheat & Mustard

Kamlesh, who owns 2 bighas of farmland in the outskirts of Lucknow's Mati village, had sown wheat during the rabi season, and her livelihood depends solely on the crop. She lamented that she has incurred a loss of approximately Rs 20,000 due to the unexpected rains and ensuing winds, and implored the government to provide assistance.

Similarly, Rajkumar, who solely depends on his 2 bighas of land in the same village, also suffered the devastating effects of the unseasonal weather, resulting in the flattening of his wheat crop. He estimated that he has lost about Rs 4-5000 due to the damage caused by the calamity.

It is not just the wheat crop that has suffered in Mati village, located 25 kilometers from the city. Santosh Kumar, another farmer from the same village, had sown mustard as a rabi crop and was now busy attempting to salvage some of the mustard crops in his water filled fields. However, he stated that he has still incurred losses of approximately Rs 10,000, in addition to the damages to the wheat crop and fodder.

Hailstorm adds to the misery

Farmers in the neighboring parts of Lucknow were faced with a much more significant problem as the unseasonal rains were accompanied by fierce hailstorms. This compounded their already difficult situation, causing further damage to their crops.

In addition to the situation in Mati village, considerable damages were reported in other districts, such as Ayodhya, Sitapur, Barabanki, Bahraich, Balrampur, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Raebareli, Hardoi, Kanpur, Unnao, Kanpur Dehat, and others. The extent of the damage to crops and the financial losses incurred by the farmers in these districts is still being evaluated

According to the administration, compensation will only be paid if at least 33% of the total crops sown have been damaged. Moreover, the weather department has warned of more rain in the coming days, which may further exacerbate the situation for the already beleaguered farmers. The extent of the damage to crops and the financial losses incurred by the farmers is alarming, and immediate relief measures need to be put in place to help them cope with this unforeseen calamity.

Over 20 districts affected by rains in MP

Meanwhile, in the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh, at least 20 districts have been hit by the unseasonal rains and hailstorms, leaving farmers in a dire situation.

In Bhopal, farmers who were eagerly waiting for the harvest of their rabi crops were taken aback by an unexpected calamity. The Revenue department has initiated a survey to assess the damages caused to crops in the affected areas. Joint investigation teams comprising Patwari, Revenue Inspectors Tehsildar, and other employees from the revenue, agriculture, and panchayat rural development departments have been established to carry out the assessment. The collector and SDM are monitoring the survey of the damaged crops to determine the extent of the losses incurred by the farmers.

Based on preliminary reports received by the government, it is estimated that around 33,884 farmers have been affected in 525 villages across 19 districts in Madhya Pradesh due to the unseasonal rains and hailstorms. The damage caused to crops is extensive, with approximately 38,985 hectares of crops being destroyed. The hailstorms first hit the Malwa region of the state, and the adverse weather conditions have affected a large number of farmers in the region. The government needs to take immediate steps to provide relief to the affected farmers and help them recover from this devastating loss.

Another spell of rain expected soon

The Climate Science Centre in Bhopal has indicated that there could be a shift in the climate in Madhya Pradesh. According to senior climate scientist H.S. Pandey, there could be another spell of rain in the state starting from 23-24th March. The impact of this new weather pattern may be felt in the Gwalior-Chambal division, where mild to medium rain is expected, and there may be mild drizzling in Bhopal, Indore, and Jabalpur. However, there are no indications of any hailstorms at the moment.

Hailstorms wreak havoc in Rajasthan

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, unseasonal rains and hailstorms in the month of March have wreaked havoc on the agricultural sector. In addition to cumin, isabgol, mustard, wheat, barley, gram, and taramira, horticulture crops have also suffered significant losses. Ramraj Meena, an agriculture officer from Sawaimadhopur district, has acknowledged that over 60 percent of the crops have been damaged due to the hailstorms. Furthermore, heavy rainfall and storms have also led to crop failures, especially affecting broken wheat, which is susceptible to damage when exposed to moisture.

The damage to crops has been extensive this season, with assessments yet to be made until after the harvest. The districts of Alwar, Dausa, Bharatpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Baran, Ajmer, Jaipur, and others have reported losses in wheat, gram, barley, coriander, and other crops. In Rajsamand, part of the Udaipur division in Rajasthan, maize, barley, and mustard crops have suffered significant damage due to the hailstorms.

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