The Madhya Pradesh government has sought from officials a report on procured wheat affected by the recent bout of freak weather in almost half-a-dozen districts in Madhya Pradesh.
As per preliminary reports, the Sunday-Monday rainfall has affected procured wheat at government outlets in Shajapur, Harda, Ratlam, Narsinghpur and Sagar districts in the state.
"We have instructed the outlets to dry the procured wheat wherever it has been affected by rain water. The wheat will be sent for storage only after it is dried," said Ashok Barnwa, the principal secretary of state food and civil supplies department.
Damage to procured wheat by rain was evident at the Raparia centre in Bhopal. Gunny bags containing the wheat had been covered with tarpaulin but that did not stop water from tricking into the stacks from the base. Ashok
The fresh spell of rainfall has only compounded woes of farmers who were under a lot of pressure after their crops were damaged in the last month’s hailstorms.
The Sunday-Monday rainfall has damaged standing crops, delaying harvesting of wheat because combine harvesters would not be able to enter fields due to slush.
About 20% of wheat crops still remain to be harvested across the state. Most of the harvested wheat are also lying in the open with farmers and are yet to be sold or stored. The rain and possibility of hail is giving farmers sleepless nights.
"The harvested wheat is lying in the open at farms. The thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday damaged power connections at many places. Power connections to procurement centres were cut off, suspending procurement. This added to panic among farmers who are planning to sell their stocks at the earliest," said Aseem Dutt, a farmer from Hoshangabad.