Horticultural crops, especially Sapota, over 1,200 acres were severely damaged following unseasonal rains that lashed on Monday evening in and around Moka village in Bellary taluk.
“The rain was accompanied by hail storms and gusty winds and lashed for about 30 minutes, damaging our Sapota crop. The hail storm has damaged the fruit, and branches of many trees were broken due to the gusty winds. This year we will incurring a heavy loss,” lamented Jambanagouda, a farmer on Tuesday.
Sapota grown in and around Moka are very popular and are exported to other states. According to Mr. Jambanagouda, the farmers had already leased out the crop for Rs. 70,000 per acre. The contractors have been cancelling the agreement and were demanding their advance back.
There were fears that harvested chilli, kept in the open for drying , was also damaged. “We did not have time to cover the chilli as it started raining all of a sudden,” Mallanagouda, another farmer said.
Ssenior Assistant Director of Horticulture Ramesh, who went to the affected areas, told The Hindu that around 50 to 60 percent of the crop had been damaged in the 28 mm rain fall that was recorded in Moka on Monday. He further added that the extent of damage was being assessed and a report would be created soon.Staff Correspondent