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Uttarakhand

Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 12:41 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:41 AM (IST)

Unexpected rain spells trouble for farmers

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, April 16

The unexpected rain accompanied by hail storms that lashed the state last week this month have spelled trouble for Uttarakhand farmers eyeing a good season as there have been reports of extensive damage to crops in various parts of the state.

Farmers in the districts of Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora and Bageshwar are the worse affected as most of their standing crops of wheat, mustard, barley and pulses has been destroyed. Most of these farmers are hoping for some help from the government.

It was double whammy for farmers who had to face dry weather during the sowing of crops in the Rabi season and now in the months of April when the rabi crop is harvested the rains have played spoilt sport. “There is no end to our problems. In the winter months there was hardly any rain and we were hoping for a trouble-free harvesting season but that was not to be,” said Dhan Singh, a farmer.

For that matter the unexpected rains and hailstorms have also not spared the fruits and vegetables as the initial joy of the farmers gave way to grief due to intense hailstorm. “We faced two spells of hailstorms during the flowering season. This is bound to affect the yield. As it is, the snowfall too was for very short duration,” said Chain Singh, an apple grower from Uttarkashi.

Apple growers of Tyuni too are a worried lot due to poor spell of snow fall and recent hail storm, “The government should compensate the farmers for hail storm damage,” said Sanjay Kumar, a farmer from Tyuni.

Meanwhile, the officials from the Agriculture Department said that due to changes in the policy, farmers reporting 33 percent damage to their crops are being paid compensation. Director Horticulture RC Srivastav said that the data for fruit damage due to hailstorm is being collected, “The extent of damage to crops would be known after we receive complete data from the districts. To prevent damage to the fruit crop, due to hailstorms we have started advising farmers to use nets as a preventive measure,” he said. 

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