Ahead of harvesting, unseasonal rains worry paddy growers
Paddy growers are facing a tough time as heavy rain lashed in most parts of Haryana causing damage to the matured crop which is ready for harvest.
As per reports from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the state has received 20.5mm rainfall on Thursday and heavy rainfall was witnessed in several districts including Jind, Sonepat, Panipat, Kaithal, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bhiwani, Rewari Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala.
The untimely rains have worried farmers as agriculture experts say around 60% paddy is in the maturing stage and too much rain at this juncture is harmful for the crop.
With the government not starting procurement yet, the growers of early varieties of paddy are also facing a tough time and are eagerly waiting for the government to start procurement.
“I have already harvested four acre PR-126 and paddy laying in open in mandi for the past four days and other 10 acre are also ready for harvest but we don’t know why the government has not started procurement,” said farmer Munish Kumar from Gurhi village of Kurukshetra.
On the other hand, mandi officials said the government had announced to start procurement from September 25, but rains have increased the moisture content and the procurement may delay further as the produce laying in mandis will take three to four days to meet the procurement norms.
The commission agents have also demanded the government to advance paddy procurement. They said this year, over 43% of the total 13.64 lakh hectare paddy are under the Parmal varieties and 20% of it is early maturing.
“Since the private traders are procuring early maturing Pusa 1509 for the past one month without any complaint about the moisture and this year, prices have also increased to around 50% than last year. But on the other hand, government is reluctant to start procurement before October 1 and the delay will cause huge losses to farmers,” said farm leader Ratan Mann.
Aditya Dabas, deputy director of Haryana agriculture department, Karnal, said, “Rain at this stage is harmful for paddy as it may lead the attack of white-backed plant hopper insect in the standing crop. And this insect spreads in the entire field within a few days if its population was not controlled at the early stage.”
Officials of agriculture department said rains have also flattened matured crops and this will not only cause loss of luster and yield, but will also increase the harvesting cost. They have advised farmers to make arrangements to pump out excess water from their fields to avoid losses.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has ordered a special girdawari to assess the damage caused to crops because of rain and waterlogging. “The Haryana government has given instructions to conduct special girdawari to assess damage to crop due to the ongoing rains so that compensation can be given to farmers,” tweeted the CM.
Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal on Thursday said the exercise of girdawari will be completed at the earliest so that farmers get compensation in time.
Dalal said Mukhyamantri Bagwani Bima Yojana, which the state cabinet approved on Wednesday, is the first scheme across country under which insurance cover will be provided for horticulture crops.
According to the IMD reports, Haryana received 159.9mm rain from September 1 to 23 – 124% more than 71.4mm considered normal in the month.
The state has received 20.5mm rain in the past 24 hours and light to heavy rain has also been forecast till September 27 in most parts of Haryana.
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