Unseasonal rains with hailstorm over the past two days have caused massive damage to crops at several places in Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, officials said.
According to Bihar government officials, rain and hailstorm in parts of south and north Bihar adjacent to Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday damaged flowering and fruiting oilseed, pulses, vegetables, tobacco crop, and blossoming mango orchards.
In some parts of Kaimur, Rohtas and Aurangabad, hail of up to 20mm was recorded within a few hours on Monday and Tuesday, officials said. Strong winds with speeds of up to 40 km per hour resulted in damage to mango trees in several areas.
“We are finished,” said Amit Singh, a farmer of Badhauna village in Vaishali district. “The Rabi crop was our last hope for survival. Heavy rain in November, December and January destroyed our paddy crops.”
Umesh Kumar Mandal, joint director (agriculture), said rain and hailstorm may have harmed the flowering pulses and oilseed crops and the fruiting crops to some extent. “The government would surely provide compensation to the farmers,” he said.
In Madhya Pradesh, hail damaged crops in at least 10 districts, including Mandla, Dindori, Katni, Satna, agriculture department officials said. Agriculture minister, Sachin Yadav, said a survey of the damaged crops is going on. “It is only after the survey that the extent of the damage can be ascertained. The government stands by the farmers and it will extend assistance to them based on the survey report.”
In Chhattisgarh, the state government instructed district collectors on Wednesday to find the estimate of the crop loss. Heavy rain and hailstorm have affected crops in Surguja, Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur region, officials said.
Indresh Pandey, a farmer, said all farmers of Raipur are badly hit as crops of chickpeas (gram/chana), wheat, and tomato had been damaged. “I have grown wheat, tomato, and chickpeas on my 10 acres of land in Sejbahar village, which is of no use now,” said Pandey. Agriculture minister, Ravindra Choubey, said chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has instructed all collectors to assess the damage and compensation will be paid to all the farmers.