KARIMNAGAR (TELANGANA): A young farmer from Chelgal village in Jagtial mandal, Akula Ganga Reddy could not contain his tears when asked about his banana plantation. He was upbeat until last Monday, when hailstorms destroyed his two-acre plantation.
With 80 per cent of his plantation lost, Reddy’s only hope now is government aid. “I pinned all my hopes on it. I planted the trees in two acres after borrowing `4 lakh from money lenders. All my dreams have been dashed,” Reddy said.
Chelgal and Tatipalli villages are among the badly-affected in Jagtial mandal. In Chelgal, about 70 per cent crop has been damaged. Given the past experience of scanty rainfall, irrigation officials had advised farmers not to cultivate paddy, but to go in for irrigated dry crops such as sesame and banana.
“This is the first time that we are facing such a situation,” claimed Naluvala Tirupathi of Chelgal, who lost his sesame crop. “After drought, it is now the turn of hailstorm,” he lamented.
According to Agriculture Department officials, standing crops in about 15,638.20 hectares have been damaged due to the hailstorm.
Another farmer, B Buchaiah of Tatipalli had tried his luck with turmeric in his one-and-a-half acres of land. He got a decent yield and spread it in his fields for drying, but the sudden rain spoiled over a quintal of the produce. “This can’t be sold in the market,” he rued, showing his soaked turmeric.