Heavy rains have lashed central and south Maharashtra as well as the Konkan region over the past few days, causing damage to standing crops in eight districts of the state. More than 1.23 lakh hectare of area under cultivation has been affected, according to agriculture department officials. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast more rains till the end of this week.
Maharashtra has received 1,129.3 mm rainfall since June as compared to 1,036.3 mm normally. All the six revenue divisions have received as much as 100% normal rainfall and dams across the state have reported good water levels.
Officials of the state agriculture department said crop damage has been reported from the districts of Pune, Beed, Sangli, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Gondia, Bhandara and Raigad. Standing crops of soyabean, onion, bajra, cotton, paddy and vegetables have reported damage due to excess rain. In many parts, farmers have reported continuous water logging in their fields.
The state has 141.98 lakh hectare kharif crop (except sugarcane), of which 144.99 lakh hectare (102%) sowing was completed by October 12. The kharif crop area, including sugarcane, is 151.33 lakh hectare, of which 147.22 lakh hectare (97.29 %) is under cultivation this season. The state has recorded cotton cultivation on 42.82 lakh hectare, soya on 42.48 lakh hectare and paddy on 15.35 lakh hectare in this season.
The government is still conducting loss assessment due to rains in September, and now the October rains have added to the woes of farmers, farmer organisations said. Dr Ajit Navale, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, Maharashtra, said that the government should pay Rs 20,000 per acre as relief to farmers.
Sangli district has reported crop damage of over 2,200 hectare, as per primary estimates. The highest damage has been reported from the drone-prone talukas such as Jat, Atpadi, Khanapur and Miraj, according to officials. In Kolhapur, crop over 800 hectare has been damaged.
Officials from the agriculture department said this is an approximate figure and clear picture will emerge after the panchanamas are conducted. The Maharashtra government has given orders to immediately start the panchnama of damages. It is expected that in the next cabinet meeting, the government will announce relief and compensation policy for the farmers’ losses.