Heavy rain damages standing crops over 4.5 lakh hectares

Preliminary reports by the commissioner of agriculture stated that crops over 4.5 lakh hectares were damaged in the rains. Standing crops of soybean, maize, sugarcane, toor as well as vegetables reported damag

STANDING CROPS over 4.5 lakh hectares stand affected as heavy to extremely heavy rain battered the state. With the survey of crop damage still on, the extent is estimated to increase in the days to come.

In the last few days, most parts of Maharashtra has received moderate to heavy rainfall due to cyclonic disturbance in a well-marked low pressure area over South Madhya Maharashtra and adjoining areas. Heavy to extremely heavy rain was reported from most parts of the state with districts of Pune, Solapur, Osmanabad, among others, reporting flash floods as well. With more rain predicted in the next few days, the extent of the damage is expected to rise.

Preliminary reports by the commissioner of agriculture stated that crops over 4.5 lakh hectares were damaged in the rains. Standing crops of soybean, maize, sugarcane, toor as well as vegetables reported damage. In case of soybean, farmers reported damage to harvested soybean kept in the fields. The Bhima river breached the banks of the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district, leading to flooding in low-lying areas and fields. Water was also released from Ujjani dam, which is at the tail end of the Khadakwasla dam systems.

Farmers who reported post-harvest losses were advised by the office of the commissioner of agriculture to update details of losses through the special app designed for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana so as to allow faster resolution of claims and distribution of compensation amount.

This would be the second consecutive year when farmers in the state have reported post-harvest loss of their crop due to unseasonal rain.

Last year, farmers received insurance claim over Rs 6,000 crore after heavy rain in September-October washed away their harvest-ready crop.

Last year, standing cane crop in South Maharashtra was also hit due to flash floods in August.

In view of the losses sustained in the rural infrastructure, the Pune Zilla Parishad has allowed gram panchayats in its jurisdiction to take up works of up to Rs 3 lakh on an urgent basis.

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