Heavy rainfall for hours on Saturday not only flooded the city roads, but also agricultural fields where vegetables have been slapped with huge damage adding to the woes of farmers.
This loss is expected to rise in the coming days as meteorological centre, Chandigarh, is expecting heavy rain in the coming week.
An official from the Met said, “There are chances of heavy rainfall, along with high velocity winds, in the coming six to seven days. Hours of sunshine will be less and it will generally remain cloudy,” informed.
District chief agricultural officer (CAO) Sukhpal Singh Sekhon said, “Heavy rain is no way good for vegetables as they get completely damaged leaving farmers with no produce despite spending a lot of money on cultivation. Major affected vegetables as of now are lady finger, brinjal, chilly, bolder gourd, and capsicum.”
TS Dhillon, an expert from Punjab Agricultural University's (PAU) vegetable science department, said, “These constant rains are very damaging for the vegetables which may be very arduous for farmers to save them from the unfavourable weather.”
Besides loss, farmers who cultivate vegetables in the region have questioned that why the state government can't give compensation to vegetable farmers as they give to wheat and paddy farmers.
Davinder Singh, a farmer from Mushqabad near Samrala, said, “For growing vegetables on one acre a farmer spends Rs 50,000 to 60, 000 and it requires more toil to grow them than wheat or paddy, but when loss is faced by us due to unfavourable weather, there is no monetary help from the state government. This also may be one of the reasons why all farmers are not coming forward in vegetable growing.”
He said, “I grow different vegetables in an area of 15-20 acres. As per the current state of my fields, I know the produce will be zero. The chilli crop has also been infected with fungus and all other vegetables are not going to mature any more as they are almost dead.”
Experts also shared that no subsidies and compensations are offered to vegetable farmers from the state government's side.
On the other hand, paddy farmers are elated for the rainfall as at this stage, paddy requires a lot of water. They said pressure on tubewells also decreases in the rainy days that also save a lot of electricity.
PAU additional director of extension education Gurmeet Singh Buttar said, “For paddy, rainy days are not a matter of worry.
It is a water intensive crop and as it has been freshly sowed and requires constant irrigation. I request all farmers to not use tubewells in these days as rain water is enough for irrigation.”
Forecast for the week
Mainly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm
Day Temperature (Celsius) Minimum Maximum
July 19 25 33
July 20 25 34
July 21 25 34
July 22 26 34
July 23 26 34
July 24 27 34
(Source: Meteorological Centre, Chandigarh)