Maharashtra, Gujarat assess crop damage as rain wreaks havoc
MUMBAI/AHMEDABAD: Hailstorms and unseasonal rainfall have damaged standing crops covering over 99,381 hectares in 17 districts of Maharashtra, while in Gujarat the loss is over 3-4 lakh hectares, according to preliminary estimates.
Both the state governments have ordered separate studies to assess crop losses for compensation to farmers.
In Gujarat, at least 27 people were killed as widespread unseasonal rainfall pummelled the state, devastating homes and standing crops. State Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel said the the government has authorised a state-wide survey to analyse crop damage and once the report is received impacted farmers will be compensated in accordance with State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines.
Even as most Kharif crops have already been harvested, a preliminary estimate has indicated that rains may have damaged standing crops covering an area of 3-4 lakh hectares. “On November 26-27, unseasonal rains pounded 236 talukas, according to official data. Eleven talukas received one inch of rain, thirty-four received almost two inches, and six received four inches. We estimate that the rains may have damaged standing crops in 3 to 4 lakh hectares since cotton and toor crops are not yet harvested,” Patel stated.
“In order to provide a relief package for farmers impacted by the rains, we have already ordered a loss-assessment survey. Officials have begun the exercise as of today since the rain has stopped. Officials have been asked to finish the survey as soon as possible. Once the survey report is received, compensation will be made,” he said. Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde ordered the panchnama of these damaged crops and loss to farmers.
According to the preliminary estimates, over 99,381 hectares of crops were damaged in Maharashtra and the damaged crops include grapes, cotton, soyabean and other agricultural yield. CM Shinde asked the collectors of the respective states to order the local administrations to conduct the panchnama of the hailstorm-affected farms on an urgent basis.
“In the case of more than 33 per cent loss of agricultural crops, the full compensation to farmers should be given,” stated in the note. On November 26, total 53 hectares vegetable crops in Shahapur and Murbad talukas of Thane district were damaged, while 41 hectares of vegetables in Dahanu taluka were suffered damages.
Over 32,830 hectares of onion, grapes, soybeans damaged in Kalvan, Nandgaon, Nashik, Niphad, Trimbakeshwar, Satana, Dindori, Peth, Surgana, Igatpuri, Sinnar, Chandwad, Yeola talukas of Nashik district. About 46 hectares of maize, wheat, sugarcane and fruit crops, bananas, papaya, cotton got damaged in Sakri, Shirpur, Shindkheda taluka of Dhule district,while 2,239 hectares of rice and cotton damaged in Navapur, Akkalkuwa, Nandurbar, Shahada, Taloda of Nandurbar district.
Over 15,300 hectares of banana, papaya, maize in Sangamner, Akole, Kopargaon, Parner, Rahta of Ahmednagar district got damaged, while 3,500 hectares of grapes and onion crops got damaged in Khed, Ambegaon, Shirur taluka of Pune district.
Agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde said that the majority of the crops got damaged in 17 districts of the state due to the hailstorm and unseasonal rainfall. The Gujarat Congress referred to the government’s announcement as a joke directed towards farmers.