Unseasonal rain washes away farmers’ hopes
Balanced to heavy rains knocked many parts of the state in the past 24 hours, destroying the hopes of farmers as they were preparing to reap their harvest in a few days.
Improper rains have virtually created chaos with wheat and other vegetable crops.
Statistics available with the Punjab Agriculture Department revealed that between April 1 and 16 Punjab received average rainfall of 22.6 mm. The overall rainfall observed by the department was 8.1 mm today as related to 6.5 mm on April 7.
Jalandhar received maximum 28 mm of rainfall, while minimum rainfall was recorded in Mansa district of Punjab at just 1 mm. The districts of Faridkot, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Fazilka and Muktsar barely received any rainfall today.
Though Director of Agriculture Department, Mangal Singh Sandhu claimed that there was no report of any major loss to wheat and other crops from anywhere in the state, farm experts and farmers said brutal weather had not only delayed the harvesting of wheat in certain areas of Punjab, but it had also led to damage to summer vegetable crops such as brinjal, bitter gourd, lady finger, etc.
A farm expert Dr Naresh Gulati said, “Bad weather, especially rain, has affected the crop shine. The crop has destroyed and discoloration has taken place at a number of places. Vegetable growing process has also been delayed by rains and consequent low temperature.”
“Fresh spell of rain is enough to reduce the per acre yield by about 40 kg,” said a farm expert. The harsh weather has forced the state government to postpone the official acquisition process by about 10 days.
With the crop loss increasing with each spell of untiming rain, the farmers are set to stage a protest outside the DC office here on Friday, seeking sufficient compensation for their losses.
Farmer leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said a large number of farmers would converge on Amritsar to abide their protest. He said they would also laim bonus on wheat as well as implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. He understood that the farmers would face procurement blues as the rain had adversely hit the quality of crop too.