Farmers, APMC traders worry about damage to fruits due to unseasonal rains
The unseasonal rains in different parts of Maharashtra over the last few days have given a cause for concern to the farmers and traders of APMC about the damage to crops of seasonal fruits.
This can also lead to degradation in quality or increase in prices. Even the much-loved Alphonso mangoes, which are in the pre-flowering stage, might be delayed this year. Fruits like grapes, anjeer and strawberry would also bear the brunt of the unseasonal rains with the flowering crops and the crops in the pre-flowering stage completely destroyed.
Gulab Neharkar, grapes farmer and supplier for the last 35 years, has not seen any losses like the ones he is facing since the last three years. “The unseasonal rains have been an issue since the last three years. Since last year, Covid has also added to our woes. In the last two days, all the crops that were in the flowering and pre-flowering stages have been completely damaged. The crops have been infected with diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew due to which we are spraying on the crops all day and night to save them. This has led to the rise in the expenses of the manufacturing of grapes. The cost of labour, and fungicides-pesticides have gone up due to the higher usage. Many farmers are planning to abandon the work of farming and sell off their lands due to the unpredictable climate,” Neharkar from Junnar in Pune, said.
Director of fruits market in APMC, Sanjay Pansare, said that similar to the grapes even strawberry, anjeer and mangoes have suffered. “Grapes come mainly from Nashik, Pune, Sangli and Solapur, and wherever there has been rain, the crops have suffered. The fruits that are coming now are of lower quality due to this. The price has not increased but the quality has decreased. The mangoes that would have otherwise started coming in by February 15 will now come only after February. A farmer who would have got 90 days to sell the produce will now get only 60 days in the market,” Pansare said.
Currently, one kilogram of grapes cost ₹100- ₹125 and 400g of anjeer and strawberry cost ₹150 in the wholesale market.
Owing to continuous rain, educational institutions in several parts of Karnataka will remain shut on Thursday. Top officials in the 4 districts of Karnataka - namely Udupi, Kodagu, Hassan and Uttara Kannada -- have declared holiday for Anganwadi schools and colleges amid the 'red alert' issued by the weather department. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted extremely heavy rain, ranging above 204.5 mm for these 4 cities.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu B Chavan appealed to people not to sacrifice cattle for the Bakrid festival while warning of stern action against the offenders. The Minister emphasised the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act has already been in force in Karnataka. Generally, during the Bakrid festival, there is a tradition of sacrifice, for which livestock such as cow, ox, calf and camels are also used, said Chavan.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.