Unseasonal rains spell doom for farmers in Telangana

Unseasonal rains spell doom for farmers in Telangana
Farmers trying to save the paddy damaged by unseasonal reains, in Nalognda on Wednesday Photo Srinivas Mucharla

  • Not only crops in fields, but also in yards damaged
  • Paddy, maize, papaya ryots incur Rs 1000 crore loss

Hyderabad: A sudden spell of unseasonal heavy rains, hailstorms and thunderstorms has aggravated the plight of farmers in Telangana during the lockdown following coronavirus pandemic.

Crops, mainly paddy which was shifted to marketyards for sale, have been damaged due to sudden rains incurring a huge loss to the farmers in many districts.

Rough estimations say the total value of the crops damaged will be around Rs 1,000 crore.

In a grave incident on Wednesday, a 45-year-old farmer Ch Devaraju collapsed while trying to save his paddy crop from unseasonal rains in Yadaram village marketyard in Bibipet Mandal of Kamareddy district.

Reports say that the farmer was upset after his crop was damaged in the rain during the night. He suffered cardiac arrest while drying his crop in the morning.

In some districts, the harvested crops were damaged in the fields even before shifting to the yards. Mango and papaya farmers and vegetable growers are also the worst hit under the impact of high speed gales in some parts of the state.

State agriculture department officials said the preliminary estimation indicated that crop losses were reported from old Karimnagar, followed by Nalgonda, Warangal, Khammam, Medak and Nizamabad districts.

In the last 24 hours, the officials said the crop damage was reported from Antargam in Peddapally district, Karimnagar marketyard, Gajwel in Siddipet district , Geesukonda in Warangal and in Rajampet marketyard. In Adilabad district, maize crop shifted to Nirmal marketyard was damaged due to the unseasonal rains.

The Agriculture department has taken up the study of crop damage in the fields as well as in the marketyards, officials said, adding that paddy crop was damaged in 30,000 acres, maize in 10,000 acres and horticulture crops, mainly mango and papaya, were damaged in 80 hectares In the erstwhile Khammam district.

In old Nizamabad district, nearly 4,500 metric tonnes of paddy, 1,500 metric tonnes of maize and 500 metric tonnes of mangoes were damaged. If the moisture level in the withered paddy crop crossed 17 percent, the government will not offer MSP to the farmers.

Unless the government takes a policy decision, the officials will not buy the damaged crops lying in the yards. Agents and rice millers are not coming forward to buy the withered crops in the yards leaving the farmers in the despair.

Farmers expressed their ire over not taking safety measures mainly the supply of tarpaulin sheets to save the crops from the rains in the yards. State Agriculture Minister Niranjan Reddy instructed agriculture officials for the supply of sheets but no action was taken in this direction at the ground level.

After Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that 100 percent procurement of farm output in view of the total lockdown, farmers have shifted the entire crop to the local yards for sale.

The delay in the procurement and lack of storage facility like godowns were resulting in the damage of crops in the rains. The farmers are demanding procurement of the damaged crops and provide remunerative prices.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary B Janardhan Reddy instructed all the district authorities to conduct the enumeration of crop damage in the fields and at the yards to ascertain the overall losses incurred by the farming community due to the unseasonal rains.

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