Hailstorm in Himachal Pradesh and adjoining regions has battered different vegetables and fruit crops, impeding the income prospects of a number of farmers.
Villages in the surrounding district of Shimla town experienced hailstones accompanied by rain for the 2nd consecutive day, which partly damaged apple as well as cherry crop in Matiana & Narkanda.
Areas between Dhalli and Kufri also received heavy hailstorm for around half an hour on Sunday (12 may 2019), resulting in similar damage. Crops like apple and other stone fruits with vegetables such as tomatoes, cauliflower, peas and cabbage have been damaged.
A farmer from Baldaiyan village of Shimla district, Nittu told that “50 percent of the vegetable crops have been damaged in our village and the nearby areas. Individual cultivators have suffered a loss between Rs 25,000 - 50,000 each.”
Common hailstorm has left the growers apprehensive as their crops are getting damaged and they are not able to obtain fair price for their produce in the mandis.
Farmers have asked the state government to give compensation as this year the erratic weather has already jeopardized several crops. Kisan Sabha Samiti’s member Satyawan Pundir has asked the state government to amend the amount of compensation as the relief funds given by the government are “very less” & do not meet the need of cultivators.
He added that “Hailstorm has spoiled our vegetables and the amount which the state government gives is not even sufficient to buy agricultural tools. The government must also provide seeds to the farmers as we will have to re-sow some crops, which takes at least fifteen days”.
Another grower, Sher Singh, from Moolkoti village of Shimla district whose crops were destroyed said the peas he had sown were completely spoiled. He said, “Most of the farmers do not have any information of government policies. Only a few of them approach the government for reimbursement”.
It must be noted that farming is the main source of livelihood of the people of Himachal Pradesh.