At a time when the farming community in the State is largely worried about harvesting their rabi crop like paddy, maize, bengalgram, groundnut and fruit crops due to the shortage of labourers caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, some are distressed further with the damage left by the untimely rain and hails this month.
The untimely rain and hailstorm have left about 20,000 farmers across the State distraught with their standing crops such as paddy, jowar, maize, wheat and sesame getting damaged in 38,500 acres and vegetable and fruit crops in another 3,000 acres. Official sources stated that farmer-wise enumeration of crop damage was being done to take the matter to the notice of the government for necessary help.
“The field-level officers were told to submit the details of damage of the crops insured to the (insurance) companies concerned within 72 hours of damage for getting timely compensation,” the sources said. Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy suggested the farmers again to insure whatever crops they cultivate without fail to be assured of compensation and to minimise losses. He advised the farmers to take up rabi sowings by planning a harvest by March-end to avoid untimely rain damage in April.
According to officials of the Agriculture Department, paddy was damaged in about 37,640 acres followed by jowar in about 670 acres. The remaining crops were damaged in extents of less than 100 acres each. Giving district-wise details of the damage, the officials said Mahabubnagar suffered most with crop damage in about 8,560 acres followed by Yadadri-Bhongir (7,940), Wanaparthy (7,675), Siddipet (4,867), Medak (2,562), Rangareddy (2,538), Narayanpet (1,232) and Jogulamba-Gadwal (1,066 acres).
Sangareddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri, Jangaon, Nalgonda, Nagarkurnool, Jayashankar-Bhupalapally, Adilabad, Rajanna-Sircilla and Vikarabad district have also suffered crop damage in the untimely rains, but in smaller extents. In all, the damage was noticed in about 100 mandals of 17 districts.
When contacted, the Horticulture Department officials estimated the damage most for mango crop (2100 acres) followed by vegetables (500 acres) and acid lime (250 acres). The damage to banana, sapota, muskmelon, watermelon, guava, chilli, onion and flowers in very small extents. The horticultural crops damage occurred in 10 districts with Warangal Rural suffering most in 1,388 acres, Yadadri (400), Rangareddy (375) and Sangareddy (338 acres).