While the spell of heavy downpour has caused crisis in Surat,Bharuch and Vadodara,resulting into the displacement of thousands of people,the unexpected rains are said to be good for the next winter rabi crops. The rain,however,is likely to cause some damage to the harvested and standing kharif crops reaching maturity. According to experts,acreage of rabi crops is likely to increase this year owing to heavy rains.
Experts say that heavy rains after a long spell are good for winter crops as it raises the reservoir level,particularly in Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions and also ground water table providing irrigation water for winter crops.
Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU) vice-chancellor N C Patel said that the current spell of rains would cause some damage to harvested groundnut and standing mung and urad crops that had reached maturity. But it would be good for late-sown groundnut crops.
Director (research) at the Anand Agriculture University (AAU) K B Kathiriya said that the current rains would not damage cotton crops much as it was at flowering and initial ball formation stage. Groundnut and cotton account for 95 per cent of crops in Saurashtra region.
Kathiriya said that the current rains would be immensely useful for paddy and tobacco crops which needed irrigation at this time. However,it may be little harmful to maize and bajra reaching maturity in Dahod and Panchmahals region in central Gujarat.
He said that it would also not cause much damage to vegetables like tomato. It would have cause damage to onions but it was not grown during monsoon season in the state. Onions were sown during winter in Gujarat.
The rains may cause some damage to paddy at maturity stage which was not very much,according to Navsari Agriculture University vice-chancellor Dr A R Pathak. Most of the paddy was sown late in south Gujarat,the paddy belt of the state.
The rains,according to Pathak,will also not harm sugarcane though it may affect chikoo productivity marginally. B S Rabari,Joint Director (agriculture statistics) in state Agriculture Department,echoed the views of the experts saying the rains after a long spell would help in water conservation and benefit crops in the next rabi season.