Heavy rain over the past few days has caused medium to serious damage to standing crops in 1.23 lakh hectares across eight districts in Maharashtra. Prices of vegetables are expected to rise both in the short and long term, according to experts, as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast more rains till the end of this week.
Officials of the state agriculture department said crop damage has been reported from the districts of Pune, Beed, Sangli, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Gondia, Bhandara and Raigad. Standing crops of soyabean, cotton, paddy and vegetables have reported damage due to excess rain. In many parts, farmers have reported continuous water logging in their fields.
The rain has taken a heavy toll on the vegetable crops in Junnar and other areas of Pune district, which will have a short term and long term effect on prices.
Deepak Bhise, president of Tomato Growers Association of Junnar, said cauliflower and cabbage have sustained heavy losses, which will affect their arrival in the markets. “The continuous cloudy weather over the last few weeks has seen an increase in pest infestation in the growing crop. The rains have also washed away the newly planted crops of cabbage and cauliflower. Production will be hit in the next three months,” he said.
Junnar farmers are especially worried about damage to marigold flowers, which are required in large numbers in upcoming festivals. Continuous exposure to rain will cause the flowers to wilt. “The rains have come at a time when we were about to harvest a good crop – the returns will be smaller this season,” he added.
Since June, Maharashtra has received 1,129.3 mm rainfall as compared to the normal 1,036.3 mm. All the six revenue divisions have received as much as 100 per cent normal rainfall and dams across the state have reported good water levels.