Untimely rains spell doom for farmers

April 5th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by admin  

By Ritu Sharma
New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Ram Kishan Yadav, a 75-year-old farmer in the outskirts of the capital, looks worried as he scans the heavily overcast sky. His wheat crop, standing golden and ready for harvesting, has already taken a battering in the unseasonal rain and he does not want more showers. The sudden thunderstorms and untimely rains during the past two days have spoilt around 10 percent of his standing wheat crop.

“The wheat was ready to be harvested and rain at this time of the year is not good as it damages plants,” Yadav said, standing in his fields in Ghumanhera village in Najafgarh district.

“With a good growing season I was expecting a good rabi (winter) crop but all efforts will go drown the drain if the rains continue,” Yadav told IANS.

The rabi sowing season starts in October-November and crops are harvested March onwards. India’s wheat production, second only to China in the world, is likely to drop with the untimely rains in the main growing areas of northern India.

The plight of Suresh Dagar of Ujja village is no different.

“I had switched from wheat crop to cabbage in one of the fields for the first time. But the rains have damaged both the crops badly,” Dagar rued.

“This year is going to be bad. I will have to see whether I will recover the money spent on seeds, pesticides and fertilizers,” he added.

Over 20 villages in Najafgarh district experienced intermittent rainfall.

For the last three days, western disturbances over Pakistan have caused sudden rainfall in parts of north India including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh.

The showers have damaged the mango cultivation as well. Rataul, 35 km from Delhi, is known for a mango variety called ‘Anwar Rataul’ and mango plantation is the mainstay of the villagers.

“We were expecting less output this year with the rains and strong winds damaging 10 percent of the mango buds. More damage has been caused by the lightning,” said Inshad, whose family depends on mango cultivation for their livelihood.

Apart from affecting the income of farmers, the damage could also prove to be a setback to the government’s efforts to check spiralling food prices.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |