Heavy rain for an hour in various parts of the region on Wednesday afternoon damaged a large quantity of paddy in the district, further increasing worries of farmers.
The crop in the grain markets was dampened in the sudden showers as most covered space under the cemented roof was filled with unlifted paddy gunny bags and the farmers were left with no option but to keep the rest of the crop outside.
Agriculture officials said that the showers would bring down the crop yield and would affect the quality of the grain, which might turn black.
They also added that if this inclement weather continues in the coming days, farmers who had booked combine machines to harvest the crop would now have to arrange manual labour, which will increase their expenses and affect their income.
This is for the first time that nature’s vagaries hit farmers this month.
Around 1.46 lakh hectares area has been covered under paddy throughout the district. The common varieties sown in the area are PUSA-44, HRK-47, PR-114, PR-116 and 118.
As per the report gathered from sources, approximately 19,102 quintals paddy has arrived in the grain markets of the district, from which 14,865 quintals was bought by different agencies. The stock of the unlifted paddy was 14,695 quintals. Summing up, only 170 quintals paddy has been lifted as of now by various agencies.
In the main grain market, Baldev Singh, a farmer from Bara Pind near Kartarpur told Hindustan Times that he had brought his crop in the morning only and it has moisture content above 20 but showers would again increase it.
He said that the rain would also bring down the yield by affecting the quality of the grain of the crop standing in the fields.
Meanwhile, Mandi officials claim that the tussle between central procurement agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the department over the issue of direct purchase from the farmers, has also been resolved and the agency would start procuring the paddy from the grain markets.
The FCI procures the crop from 11 grain markets out of total 78 markets of the district that includes Jamsher, Giddarpindi, Mahirajwal, Malliya Kalan, Talwandi Rai, Uggi, Dhandor, and others.
District mandi officer (DMO) Varinder Kumar Khera told HT that the issue has been settled and FCI would start the procurement in a day.
The DMO added that the department has made neces-sary arrangements in all grain markets to save the crop from rain.
Further, the payments have also been started by the government, he said, adding that the paddy procurement is slow due to the strike of rice shellers.