Intermittent rain stalls wheat procurement, farmers worried

  • Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 17, 2014 21:51 IST

Unfavourable weather conditions continued to bother farmers even at the fag end of rabi season. The intermittent rainfall on Wednesday morning not only stalled the procurement process and lifting work of wheat at various grain markets, but also leaves farmers and officials sulking.

Field staff of the agriculture department remained on their toes, carrying out surveys in various parts of the district to evaluate the damage inflicted by inclement weather.

Besides evoking fear of increasing content of moisture, the rainfall at this stage may result in lack of lustre and blackening of the grains.

However, with the metrological department predicting heavy rainfall and strong wind in the next three days, there are problems for the farmers in the corner.

Meanwhile, the untimely rainfall has exposed tall claims of the district administration of making arrangements for proper awnings and better water drainage system in grain markets, as wheat heaps are exposed to rain in open space and without any cover.

Monday's rainfall came as a setback to the farmers who are yet to harvest their crop. They will have to wait for another 2-3 days, as the rain has dampened the crops.

Besides, there have been reports of flattening of standing crop from villages like Ghanaur, Nabha, Bhadson, Patiala and Patran blocks.

Harnek Singh, a farmer at Rajgarh village, said he had unloaded his yield at Mehmadpur purchasing centre five days back, but no officials from any of the procuring agencies turned up. "The authorities have failed to make adequate arrangements of awnings, and hence we have to make temporary arrangements of our own to save the crop," he added.

Another farmer Babu Singh said he had harvested half of his standing crops, but the remaining crops were flattened by the overnight rain.

District chief agriculture officer Inderpal Singh Sandhu said: "Rainfall at this stage is a cause of concern. However, no damage has been reported so far and there has been least impact of overnight rain on the quality of wheat crop."

"I have asked for detailed report from all rain-hit blocks of the district. The damaged was the least. The teams have still been surveying various areas vociferously to take stock of the situation. They are also appealing to farmers not to panic," he said.

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