With the meteorological centre predicating the onset of rain in the city from Monday, agriculture experts believe that the change in weather would cause a delay in the harvesting of paddy.
Farmers in the region are also worried about the arrival of rain, stating that they have to incur losses because of unfavourable weather condition in almost every crop season.
“In the wheat season too, weather played a very negative role and the situation isn’t any different in the current paddy season. The worst thing is that it starts raining when the crop is heading towards maturity, which leads to a decrease in the crop’s yield and quality,”said a group of farmers.
Satnam Singh, a farmer from Gill village, said the farmers had to bear the brunt of a drop in the quality of crops due to rain. He added that the farmers also had to struggle in the mandis to get the right rate for their produce as the commission agents remained unsympathetic towards them.
“The Punjab Mandi Board has made it clear that this year too no wet paddy will be accepted in the mandis. But how is it possible to keep the crop dry if there is constant rain?”he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the last few weeks rain along with high winds has already damaged the paddy crop of many farmers.
Gurmeet Singh Buttar, additional director of extension education at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said, “Paddy harvesting will continue to face delay if rainy days continue and the crop’s quality and quantity will also fall.”
SPS Brar, extension specialist from plant breeding and genetics department, PAU, said the farmers were right in saying that unfavourable weather had become the biggest challenge for them. “The delay in paddy harvesting will set off a chain reaction that will also result in a delay in the cultivation wheat crop which begins in early November”, Brar said. The procurement of paddy is also expected to be delayed to rain.