Pilibhit / Bijnor: The light to heavy rain accompanied by high-velocity winds over the last two days has left farmers distressed across Uttar Pradesh as it has flattened the standing paddy crops.
The rains inundated the fields, causing damage to ready-to-harvest standing paddy and other Kharif crops, including maize and sugarcane.
Rainfall also disrupted paddy procurement and may affect the quality of grain and yield. The incessant rainfall led to waterlogging in cities and towns across the state affecting normal life.
As per figures provided by the India Meteorological Department, the highest rainfall of 73.5 mm was recorded in Bareilly during the last 24 hours, followed by Budaun with 68 mm rainfall.
Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur districts recorded 57 and 63.4 mm of rainfall respectively; whereas 75 mm of rainfall was recorded in Bijnor.
Moderate to heavy rain is expected to continue for the next 48 hours, as per IMD’s forecast.
” Our paddy crops have been completely flattened and submerged in waterlogged fields. This can only be harvested after the manual labour weather turns normal. The process of harvesting, drying up, thrashing and disposal of the heaps of dry stems would be so costly that the process would write off the entire selling price of the produce. The wet paddy would get discoloured and would be deemed as trifle for procurement even at a low price, ” said Manjit Singh Sandhu, a farm er in village Bela Pokhra in Pilibhit.
Echoing similar sentiments, Baburam Tomar, a farmer leader, said, ” It is the time when paddy gets harvested. Heavy rainfall damaged the standing crops. Earlier, farmers suffered losses due to drought. Government should compensate us. “
As per local estimates, standing crops of paddy in 55,000 hectares of land in Bij nor district have been inundated. The situation has also adversely affected the paddy procurement in Pilibhit. As many as 161 procurement centres of the state government’s five procurement agencies, including the Food Corporation of India ( FCI ), have so far procured just 160 quintals of paddy from only two farmers.
The rest of the paddy brought to the procurement centres was refused due to the excess moisture, compared with the permitted 17 %.
” In normal conditions, we procure at least 300 quintals of paddy at each procurement centre in a day, ” said Vikas Tiwari, district food and marketing officer.
Officials at the district level are conducting surveys at the direction of the state government to assess the damage caused due to heavy rainfall across Uttar Pradesh.
Bijnor district agriculture officer Avdhesh Mishra said, ” The revenue department is assessing the damage caused to farmers.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Ku mar Gupta, SDM of Puranpur circle said, ” If the percentage of damage to crops was found to be 33 % or more, it will be comprehended as af fected by the natural calamity and the figures of damage will be referred to the state government for reparation. “