Unseasonal rain damages 7.59 lakh hectares of farmland in Maharashtra

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2015 21:58 IST

The official estimate on the damage to crops because of unseasonal rain is in — and the situation does not look good. Maharashtra said at least 7.59 lakh hectare of farmland has been damaged. Although the loss amount is still being assessed, conservative estimates from officials puts the figure at more than Rs 1,000 crore.

Farmers growing crops such as jowar, wheat, chickpea, and fruits, including mangoes, grapes and pomegranate are most affected, while the districts of Osmanabad, Jalna, Ratnagiri, Nashik, Pune, Aurangabad and Yavatmal are most affected.

Of the 7.59 lakh hectare, almost 90% of the damage (6.09 lakh hectares) has been suffered by crop farmers, while more than 1.40 lakh hectare of orchards have been damaged.

All the farmers who have suffered more than 50% crop loss will be compensated, revenue minister Eknath Khadse assured on Thursday.

“The district collectors and officials are in the process of taking their panchanamas and we will know the exact status in two days,” Khadse said.

The worst hit is Osmanabad, where 1.49 lakh hectare of farmland has been affected, followed by Jalna (1.35 lakh hectares) and Ratnagiri (92,705 hectares). He said while mango farmers complained of damage at the flowering stage, grape farmers are faced with water logging in the vineyards. Also, 4,100 metric tonnes of raisins are rotting in Sangli after getting soaked in rain, the minister said.

“There is a possibility of crops getting infected with pests. It will also affect the grade and quality of the produce, which is a financial loss,” he added.

Talking on the issue of climate change, and the frequent natural calamities that farmers have to deal with in the state — from drought , hailstorms to unseasonal rain — Khadse said they would have to rework the cropping patterns, but the unseasonal rain has put that project on the backburner for now.

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