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Himachal farmers worried as hailstorm batters fruit, veggie crops

Frequent hailstorm has left the farmers in Himachal Pradesh worried as their crops are getting destroyed and they are unable to get fair price for their produce in the market.

india Updated: May 13, 2019 12:47 IST
Navneet Rathore
Navneet Rathore
Hindustan Times, Shimla
hailstorm in himachal pradesh,himachal pradesh,himachal farmers
Vehicles moving after hail storm at Navbihar-Sanjauli road, Shimla on Sunday, May 12 2019. (Deepak Sansta / HT Photo )

The recent spell of hailstorm in Himachal Pradesh and its nearby areas has battered various vegetables and fruit crops, hampering the income prospects of scores of farmers.

Villages in the vicinity of Shimla town for the second consecutive day experienced hailstones accompanied by rain, which partially damaged apple and cherry crop in Matiana and Narkanda.

Areas between Dhalli and Kufri received heavy hailstorm for about 20 to 25 minutes on Sunday, resulting in similar damage. Crops such as apple and other stone fruits along with vegetables like peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, and cabbage have been damaged.

A farmer from Baldaiyan village of Shimla district, Nittu, said, “50% of the vegetable crops have been destroyed in our village and the surrounding areas. Individual farmers have suffered a loss between Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 each.”

Frequent hailstorm has left the farmers worried as their crops are getting destroyed and they are unable to get fair price for their produce in the market.

The farmers have appealed the state government to provide compensation as this year, the unpredictable weather has already jeopardised various crops. Kisan Sabha Samiti’s member Satyawan Pundir has urged the state government to revise the amount of compensation as the relief funds given by the government are “very less” and do not meet the need of the farmers.

“Hailstorm has destroyed our vegetables and the amount which the state government pays is not even enough to buy agricultural tools. The government should also provide seeds to the farmers as we will have to re-sow some crops, which takes at least 15 days,” he added.

Another farmer, Sher Singh, from Moolkoti village of Shimla district whose crops were damaged said the peas he had sown were totally damaged. “Most of the farmers do not have any knowledge of government policies. There are very few farmers who approach the government for compensation,” he added.

Agriculture is the main source of income of the people of Himachal Pradesh.

First Published: May 13, 2019 12:47 IST