Source: www.hindustantimes.com

Around 15 lakh acres of standing crop damaged in Haryana; harvested produce lying unattended in the grain markets across the state also damaged

Neeraj Mohan | Karnal / rohtak

Sep 27, 2022

 Distressed farmers in Haryana have suffered a double blow due to heavy rains and waterlogging coupled with a week-long strike by the arhtiyas as the inclement weather not only flattened around 15 lakh acres of the standing paddy, bajra and cotton crops but also damaged the harvested produce lying unattended in the grain markets across the state.

Hardeep Singh, director general of agriculture and farmers welfare department said that a huge loss of around 20 per cent is likely in all the three major kharif crops of paddy, bajra and cotton.

He said that the state received 470mm rainfall in the past four days and it had a bad impact on around 10 lakh acres of paddy and bajra and nearly 5 lakh acres of cotton.

Singh said that there is a significant loss in paddy and bajra crops cultivated under 34.8 lakh acres and 11 lakh acres respectively in the state. Due to the week-long strike by arhtiyas across the state, thousands of quintals of non-procured paddy lying unattended in the mandis for the past few days amid heavy rains and waterlogging has lost shine and even got germinated due to heavy moisture content.

The standing crop, which was ready for harvesting, too has been damaged. Now the farmers will have to wait for at least a week until the fields get dried for harvesting by combine harvesters. “My produce of three acres is in mandi since September 22. Due to rains, the paddy got soaked and it will not be ready for harvesting for at least three-for days,” said Rajesh Kumar, a farmer from Radaur in Yamunanagar district.

Another farmer, Darshan Lal from Ladwa in Kurukshetra said that his six acres of parmal varieties were ready for harvesting last week but due to non-procurement by the government agencies, he delayed the harvesting. “Now, entire crop is under water and the rains have also delayed the sowing of potato for around 15 days,” he said.

The officials monitoring procurement operations said that the arrival had started even before rains and due to strike by the arhtiyas, the produce could not be procured and most of it got soaked during rains. “Now, it will take two-three days to make this paddy ready for procurement and it will put extra burden on farmers and arhtiyas,” said Gurdev Singh, a commission agent of Ladwa grain market of Kurukshetra.

However, procurement started in some grain markets but the arhtiyas said that most of the paddy is not ready for purchase yet due to higher moisture content. Sujan Singh, chief administrator of the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB), said that the strike by the arhtiyas has ended and the HSAMB is all prepared for the procurement and the purchase by the government agencies will start on scheduled date.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during his visit to Karnal grain market on Monday said that the rains and strike caused a huge loss to farmers and now the government should immediately order a girdawari and compensate the farmers for their losses.

Cotton farmers bear the brunt

Due to heavy rainfall, cotton and bajra crops have been damaged in Charkhi Dadri, Hisar and Bhiwani districts. Ram Kumar, a farmer from Charkhi Dadri’s Rambas, said the excessive rainfall and waterlogging has damaged the cotton crop, which was just a week away from picking.

“This year, we are expecting a good yield. Some farmers ‘have just started picking and others were all set to pick the cotton. The rainfall has spoiled our good crop and the water is still logging in the field. We urge the government to compensate us,” he added.

Mukesh, a farmer from Bhiwani’s Fartiya village, said he was very happy with the crop but rainfall has inundated fields which led to uprooting of the cotton plants and colour of crop too has changed. Raju Mann, a local Congress leader from Dadri, said the incessant rainfall has destroyed the cotton and bajra crops. “Both the crops were at the last stage. The government should give ₹ 50,000 per acre compensation for damaged cotton crop and ₹ 30,000 for bajra crop,” he added.

Vikas Kumar, a farmer from Hisar said the untimely rainfall has flattened the standing Bajra crop. Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal said special girdawari would be carried out to assess the crop loss and farmers will be compensated. A revenue official said the assessment of damaged crops is yet to be done. (With inputs from HTC, Rohtak) (Source: www.hindustantimes.com)