Farmers in Maharashtra are staring at crop loss of over Rs 5,000 crore across 30 districts after heavy rain caused extensive damage to standing crop in the last few days. The scale of crop loss may be even worse as authorities are still trying to ascertain the extent of damage.
In the last couple of weeks, Maharashtra has received heavy rainfall in double doses, the first spell during the beginning of the withdrawal of monsoon and the second when Cyclone Kyarr caused heavy rain, particularly over the Konkan coast, damaging the rice fields there.
In many areas, farmers had harvested their crop but did not get time to shift the produce to a dry location as the rain caught them unawares.
According to senior officers of the state government’s Agriculture department, preliminary surveys have pegged the crop loss at over Rs 5,000 crore. As many as 30 of the 36 districts in the state have reported crop loss, with the eight districts of Marathwada reporting the worst losses. The crop loss comes at a time when unusually good rain towards the end of monsoon season had buoyed the hopes of farmers about sufficient yield.
Soyabean, maize, bajra, rice, cotton and horticulture crops are among the worst affected. While maize farmers have reported complete crop loss, cotton farmers have reported loss of the current picking.
The heavy rain has also hit vegetable growers in Nashik, Pune, Satara and other districts, and the crop loss has led to reduction in arrivals in wholesale markets, which in turn has pushed up prices in retail markets.
The plentiful rain will benefit some crops, such as tur and rabi crops of chana and wheat.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to chair a meeting of divisional commissioners on Friday to assess the extent of crop damage. Farmers have demanded immediate panchnamas to help them avail insurance for their crops.