Minor effects of rain and hail on rabies crops: Narendra Singh Tomar
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday that preliminary reports suggest there is little impact on resistant rabies crops such as wheat due to the current untimely rains and hail.
The minister, however, said the Center had not yet received ground reports from state governments.
Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the event, Tomar said: “According to preliminary estimates, the impact on the rabies crop is small.” State governments are still assessing damage to rabies crops, he said.
State governments can use the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to provide immediate assistance to farmers after a crop survey. He added that the central government may provide more funds from the National Disaster Relief Fund after the submission of the memorandum.
Wheat is the main rabi crop harvested in some states. Mustard and chickpeas are other major rabies crops.
Many parts of the country have experienced unseasonal rain, hail and gusty winds over the past three days, fueled by Western unrest.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in the past 24 hours, heavy rains in isolated locations have been reported in Western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya.
Hail has been reported in isolated locations in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the latest forecast, separate thunderstorms, lightning, gusty winds and hail are expected over Uttarakhand and Western Rajasthan on March 23, and over the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana on March 24.
On Monday, the central government said it was not worried about the mustard and chickpea (chan) harvest, since most of it had already been harvested. In terms of horticultural crops, localized hailstorms may have affected some crops such as bananas and potatoes.
The government forecasts a record wheat harvest of 112.2 million tons in the 2022-23 agricultural year (July-June).
Meanwhile, IMD has advised farmers in Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to postpone harvesting.
Farmers in Assam have been asked to postpone fruit and vegetable harvesting and immediately move already harvested produce to safer locations. Farmers have been ordered to delay planting corn in Sikkim and planting jute in sub-Himalayan West Bengal.
Farmers must divert excess water from crop areas, provide mechanical support to horticultural crops and hang vegetables, use hail nets to protect apple, pear, plum and peach orchards in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, as well as orchards in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh , in the east. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
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