Hailstorms, unseasonal rains damaged 4.76 lakh hectares of crop in February

Around 300,000 hectares of crops like jowar, gram, wheat and horticulture crops like orange, grapes, bananas and vegetables were damaged in Maharashtra

By Jitendra
Last Updated: Tuesday 13 March 2018 | 04:57:20 AM
Maharashtra has been the worst hit so far. Credit: Javier Candeira / Flickr
Maharashtra has been the worst hit so far. Credit: Javier Candeira / Flickr Maharashtra has been the worst hit so far. Credit: Javier Candeira / Flickr

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, informed the parliament today that hailstorms and unseasonal rains have caused huge damage, especially to northern states in India. Hailstorms and unseasonal rain caused damage to 4.76 lakh hectares of crop in February in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Karnataka.

Credit: Ministry of Agriculture

While responding to an unstarred question regarding damage to crops due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms, he said Maharashtra has been the worst hit so far, with the state having the highest share of crop areas affected. Maharashtra is followed by Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (see Table). Around 300,000 hectares of crops like jowar, gram, wheat  and horticulture crops like orange, grapes, bananas, and vegetables were damaged.

Similarly, around 100,000 hectares of crops like wheat, gram, peas, lentils, rapeseed and mustard were damaged in Uttar Pradesh.

The list has not included crop area damaged in March, especially in Rajasthan and Haryana.

Centre says responsibility for providing relief to farmers lies on states

The minister also stated that states, and not the Centre, are primarily responsible for providing relief to affected farmers. “The state governments are primarily responsible for taking immediate measures in the wake of all natural calamities. The government of India supplements the efforts of the states with financial and logistic support. State governments to address the notified calamities by utilising the funds under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and states submit memorandum as per procedure or norms, if additional financial assistance is required from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).  Meanwhile, it can utilise contingency fund of states if SDRF is exhausted,” says the minister.

He also stated that the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) has not received any proposal from the state governments seeking support under NDRF for crop losses due to hailstorm in February 2018. Earlier, Down To Earth reported that the affected farmers are demanding compensation after losing 50 per cent to 90 per cent of their standing crops.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Related Story:

Farmers seek relief after hail, rain damage crops in Rajasthan, UP

How inaccurate weather forecasts are adding to farmers’ woes in Maharashtra

Hailstorm in Maharashtra kills at least three, destroys crops in Marathwada, Vidarbha

Unseasonal rainfall damages Rabi crops for seventh consecutive season

IEP Resources:

Coping with hailstorm in vulnerable Deccan Plateau region of India: technological interventions for crop recovery

Assessment of hailstorm damage in wheat crop using remote sensing

Occurrence of hail storms and strategies to minimize its effect on crops

Question raised in Lok Sabha on Compensation Under Crop Insurance Schemes, 19/12/2017

Question raised in Rajya Sabha on Damage to Crop Due to Heavy Rains and Drought, 29/04/2016

Lived Anomaly: How to enable farmers in India cope with extreme weather events

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.