Vegetable and flower crops on hundreds of acres were damaged in the hailstorm that occurred in three mandals of Ranga Reddy district on January 29
Vegetable and flower crops on hundreds of acres were damaged in the hailstorm that occurred in three mandals of Ranga Reddy district on January 29, resulting in losses worth lakhs of rupees for farmers.
According to a report on crop loss prepared by the district’s Horticulture Wing, more than 50 per cent of the standing horticultural crops on 2,625 acres of the three mandals were damaged. Vegetables such as tomato, cabbage and onion suffered the worst fate, said officials.
The heavy hailstorm that began in the night and lasted for a brief period, left thick layers of crushed ice on the fields of Chevella, Moinabad and Shankarpally mandals. Crops were swept away and animals crushed after huge ice boulders crashed down onto the fields. The impact was severe in villages including Kummera, Gollapally, Kammeta, Yankapally, Malkapur and others of Chevella mandal. It was then estimated that horticultural crops on over 1,000 acres could have been damaged due to the calamity. But the actual damage proved to be much more than the estimates. The area of damage for vegetable crops alone was nearly 1,500 acres, with Chevella suffering the worst in 770 acres. Moinabad followed with 635 acres, while complete data from Shankarpally is still to arrive.
Floriculture suffered the worst in Moinabad mandal, with the flower crop in 665 acres getting damaged. Chevella’s loss on the count was in 200 acres. In Chevella, mango orchards and spices too suffered considerable loss.
On the agricultural front, Bengal gram, Jowar and maize crops suffered heavy damage, incurring huge losses for the farmers.
Both the sectors put together, the hailstorm affected over 2,150 farmers, a predominant majority of them with small and medium landholdings. Monetary relief for the farmers, in the form of input subsidy, will be delivered directly into their accounts, according to the scale fixed for the respective crop, officials said.
For horticultural crops, the relief ranged between Rs.10,000 and Rs.24,000 per hectare, while for others, it is between Rs.5,000 and Rs.10,000 per hectare, depending on the crop. The total burden on the exchequer is estimated at nearly Rs.1.3 crore.