Bad news for Maharashtra’s farmers: Hailstorms expected in five districts from Feb 23
The destruction of cultivated land in north Maharashtra likely to rise significantly due to bad weather; state asks farmers to take precautionsmumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2018 11:43 IST
After being whipped by hailstorm in Vidarbha and Marathwada ,there’s more bad news in store for Maharashtra farmers. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued hailstorm warning for five districts of north Maharashtra region from February 23 for the next 48 hours.
It has also predicted similar warning for Aurangabad district of Marathwada on February 24. This means destruction of cultivated land in the state will rise significantly due to bad weather. This may put further stress on the state exchequer, which is already facing paucity of funds.
The fresh IMD forecast said thunderstorm accompanied with hailstorm is likely to occur at isolated areas over five districts of north Maharashtra — Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar from February 23 for the next 48 hours. The forecast also said thunderstorm along with hailstorm is likely to hit Aurangabad district of Marathwada on February 24 for the next 24 hours.
The state agriculture department has now asked the farmers to take all possible precautions to minimise damages. This includes storing crops at secure places, to take shelter in case of hailstorm and thunderstorm, cover cultivated crops if possible and so on, said agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar.
Two regions in the state — Marathwada and Vidarbha — were worst hit by the adverse weather conditions, which began on February 11 and continued till February 13. Farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha are among the most vulnerable in the state because these regions are prone to droughts.
As per the preliminary estimate of the state agriculture department, damage to the crops by hailstorm and unseasonal rains has reached around 3 lakh hectares. So far, more than 3,724 villages across 19 districts have been affected.
The Maharashtra government has already sought financial assistance of Rs200 crore from the Centre to compensate farmers for the losses. Affected farmers will get compensation as per the norms laid down under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
As per the NDRF norms, farmers who cultivate crops on non-irrigated land will get compensation of Rs6,800 per hectare for damage caused by natural calamities. For irrigated land, farmers are entitled to get compensation of Rs13,500 per hectare, while for horticulture or perennial crops, they get Rs18,000 per hectare, said the agriculture minister. However, in all cases, compensation will be limited to two hectares only.
The most affected districts are Amravati (45,868 hectares), Buldhana (40,385 hectares), Osmanabad (30,112 hectares), Jalna (30,000) and Nanded (29,535).
First Published: Feb 21, 2018 11:41 IST