Ahmedabad, March 7
Unseasonal rains at the harvest time for the winter crops has spoiled the mood for farmers in Gujarat.
Since Sunday, several parts of the state have been receiving rain along with hailstorms and gusty winds in some parts.
The rains have impacted the harvested or ready-to-harvest crops such as jeera, potato, onion, garlic, mustard, and castor besides the horticulture crops, including mango.
Also read: Rains, hails on Holi hampers ready-to-harvest crops in Gujarat
The Kesar mango belt of coastal Saurashtra received hailstorms along with gusty winds in some parts causing early falls for the fruits. The Alphonso variety-growing region of Valsad in southern Gujarat saw heavy downpours in a short span, causing damage to the mango crop.
Even as several market yards had suspended auctions following the Met department’s warning for unseasonal rains, there were some yards in Rajkot district, where officials were caught off-guard leading to damage to the crops of wheat, coriander, cumin seeds and groundnut stored in the openarea.
With damage being imminent, farmers have pinned hopes on the government to provide some relief by way of a package or procurement at the minimum subsidy price.
The IMD has predicted more unseasonal rains in most of the geographical area of the state until March 9.
In its five-day forecast released Monday evening, the IMD predicted, “Light thunderstorm with lightning and surface wind 30-40 kmph (in gust) accompanied with light rain to moderate very likely at isolated places in all the districts of South Gujarat region” and parts of Saurashtra and North Gujarat till March 9.
Notably, South Gujarat has high concentration of horticulture crops, while Saurashtra is the hotbed for coriander, wheat, onion, and groundnut as well as mango plantations. In North Gujarat, the big crops at stake are Jeera, castor, coriander and potato.