SRINAGAR: Bad weather in the recent weeks has “adversely affected” the winter-sown crop in Jammu and Kashmir besides in the other states, Government of India (GoI) confirmed Friday.
According to the media reports from New Delhi, India’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Mohanbhai Kundaria, told Rajya Sabha that the recent “unseasonal rains and hailstorms” in Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have adversely affected production of Rabi crops, “further aggravating the overall production of agricultural crops during 2014-15″.
J&K has been witnessing rains and snow since the last week of February. The local experts have already predicted damage to the crops, especially to fruits, if the weather doesn’t improve before long.
According to the MoS, India’s food grain production is estimated to decline by 3.2 per cent at 257.07 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) as against 265.57 million tonnes in the previous year.
In reply to a separate query, Kundaria said unseasonal rains and hailstorm on February 28 and March 1 have affected Rabi crops in many states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh.
He, however, said the states are yet to submit to GoI their assessment of loss to the standing crops.
“As per preliminary reports, about 27 lakh hectare crop area was affected,” he said.
In Rabi season of 2014-15 crop year, 535.35 lakh hectares were sown under foodgrains and 79.34 lakh hectares under oilseeds, the reports said, adding the government provides support to states under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for losses to crops due to natural calamity as per the guidelines of SDRF and NDRF.
Kanduria said the Minister of Agriculture has issued advisories to states and farmers through SMS and other electronic media from time-to-time to “supplement the efforts of states to minimise the losses”.