Unseasonal rains cause widespread crop damage

By Times Of India on 13 Apr 2018 | read
AHMEDABAD: The unseasonal rains in Saurashtra and north Gujarat has badly affected crops standing in the fields, crops stocked in the open, as also crops at the next stage of sowing. The heavy rains in Patan for nearly 10 minutes was enough to destroy the cumin seed and isabgul which were stocked in the open at APMC Unjha.
According to an estimate, around 20% of the crop in the field has been damaged, while around 30% of the 7.2 lakh hectare area, where sowing has taken place, will be damaged. Apart from the cumin seed and isabgul, wheat still in the fields has suffered as getting wet will affect quality of the crop. Many farmers who went in for early sowing feel the rains will affect flowering.

V P Chovatia, director, research at Junagadh Agriculture University said, “Rains with hailstorm has not only affected the crop lying in the fields, but also the summer crop sowing.

The hailstorm will bring down the temperature for the time being and damage the sapling at sprouting stage.” Chovatia said that fortunately for the mango crop, barring Amreli no other area witnessed the heavy rains.

Gaurang Patel, chairman of APMC Unjha said rains lashed at a time when farmers had sold off their produce and were waiting for payment. He said that the AMC intervened and ensured that the traders did not hold back payment. According to an estimate, around 1,000 bags of cumin seed and isabgul were damaged in the rains. Each bag of cumin is of 60 kg and that of isabgul is of 80 kg. On Wednesday cumin was sold at around Rs 3,000 per 20 kg while the same for Isabgul was Rs 1,500.

Harsukh Zarsaniya, secretary of Talala APMC said, “There was no rains in Talala or Junagadh region the main hub of Kesar mango. There were some rains in Amreli but not in areas dense with mango orchards.” Zarsaniya added, “Had it rained heavily with winds, the entire crop would have been damaged. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the effect of change in weather should not be felt in mango growing areas.” He feared this season will yield a very low production.