While villagers and officials are still fazed by the sudden downpour of hailstones in Chevella mandal, villagers of Kummera, whose main occupation is farming, were left completely devastated by the loss.
Most ryots had taken loans or mortgaged their gold and property to invest in their farming lands. Speaking to Express, K Raju, the village revenue assistant said this climatic change would push farmers further into debt.
Ryots were seen tending the remnants of their crops on Thursday, while others were worrying about their losses. Some of the ice was still seen in corners of the village till Thursday.
“The melted ice spoilt every single crop we were about to get. While some of our harvests were ready, others would have yielded in the next 15 days,” said Manik Reddy, a farmer.
Reddy, who grows tomatoes on his one acre land, explained that he had invested money for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc, and that cost him around Rs 25000. “I can easily get 50 boxes of tomatoes after the harvest. Each box can hold 25 kilograms, so I’ve lost around 10 quintals worth harvest,” he rued.
Like him, many others have lost crops of chillies, jowar, and also flowers which are sold in cities. “It takes three months for us to reap harvests. Our hard work was put to test this year as we had to get water from different places because of bad rains,” mentioned Yadi Reddy, a farmer from Malkapuram village, who owns land in Kummera. He said, “I spent a total of Rs 40,000 on my land on which I grow tomatoes and rose. Five of my sheep died and each would have fetched me at least Rs 4000. I had spent about Rs 5,000 on tomato crops on my one and half acre land as well. The crops would have been harvested in another 10 days,” he lamented.
Villagers now hope that the state government will come to their rescue again.