Not only has it been a killjoy for garba enthusiasts, but extended rains have also dampened farmers’ mood too with the downpour affecting standing as well as harvest-ready crops in Saurashtra, central Gujarat and south Gujarat. However, there’s still hope as compared to previous year, sowing and productivity was estimated much better this season and against that the damage is likely to be less than 20%, believes experts.
In Gujarat, so far rain has affected groundnut, cotton, paddy, fodder and other crops, said vice chancellor of Anand Agriculture University, Dr AM Sheikh. “We have received complaints of either the crop being spoiled or it being damaged, particularly from south Gujarat, central Gujarat and certain pockets of Saurashtra. Almost in every part of these regions, crops are ready for harvest, while in some other parts, harvesting has already begun,” Sheikh said.
Cotton crop in Junagadh and Rajkot have been partially damaged, claimed Biren Vakil, commodity expert and director of Paradigm Commodity Advisor Pvt Ltd. “At present, harvesting is going on. While cotton in Junagadh and Rajkot has suffered damage, groundnut too has been spoilt in Jamnagar. In case of groundnut, the crop now requires more usage of pesticides, because of which, it will not be exported. We had estimated that the total groundnut production in Gujarat will be over 26 lakh tonne. Now with these rains, we expect the production will reduce by up to 1.50 lakh tonne. However, compared to previous year, the production will still be thrice from 7 lakh tonne in 2012-13,” said Vakil.
The former president of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Gujarat chapter, Praful Senjalia said that BKS is estimating loss of up to 30% in cotton production in Saurashtra this year. “Still, compared to previous years, the production will remain much higher. For standing crop, there is fear of disease and the harvested crop is damaged. In this situation, farmers in Saurashtra, central Gujarat and some parts of Sabarkantha may incur losses,” he said.
However, director of research, Junagadh University, Dr CJ Dangaria says the extended rains are both good and bad news. “Because of extended rains, dams in Saurashtra are full. This helps farmers in cultivation of summer crops. But at present, it’s inundating the farms and less sunlight is likely to weaken the standing crops. We are expecting around 15% of groundnut to be spoiled in this region, and reduction of around 20% in cotton crop,” he said.
An official of Agriculture Department of Gujarat government agreeing to the damage on crop said that all crops which were sown early due to an early monsoon this year will certainly suffer adverse impact. “The quantity may not be so huge to affect earnings of farmers. Overall, the production of crops in state is much better than previous year,” said the official.
Govt to conduct survey to assess agri losses
The state government will conduct a survey to assess farm losses caused by the heavy rainfall in the state in the last few days. State government spokesperson Nitin Patel told media-persons that a detailed survey would be conducted in areas that have received heavy rains in the last few days to assess the damage. He said that instructions have been issued to officials concerned for doing the survey.