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Haryana CM Predicts 10-15% Crop Loss as Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc

A succession of storms have ripped through maturing wheat in states like as Uttar Pradesh, the largest grower, Madhya Pradesh, the second-largest grower, Punjab, and Haryana, in addition to Rajasthan.

Shivam Dwivedi
Haryana CM Predicts 10-15% Crop Loss as Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc
Haryana CM Predicts 10-15% Crop Loss as Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc

Haryana's rabi crop appears to have been harmed by unseasonal rains in March, according to the state's chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, though he underlined that the level of loss was significantly smaller than earlier predicted.

Khattar told a press conference that authorities have inspected 1.5 million of the 1.7 million acres of arable land that had been damaged. Farmers who have crop losses would be reimbursed in May, he said.

Apart from Rajasthan, a succession of storms have ripped through ripening wheat in states such as Uttar Pradesh, the top grower, Madhya Pradesh, the second-largest grower, Punjab, and Haryana since mid-March.

Farmers and traders in these states reported losses to rabi (winter seeded) crops, particularly wheat, the key winter staple. Wheat is planted in November and harvested at the end of March.

Following the unseasonal rain earlier this month, the central government reduced quality standards for wheat eligible for procurement from Punjab and Haryana, according to two notifications issued by the Union food ministry.

Last month's weather shock added to the strain on crops and agricultural workers who were already under stress from a heatwave in March, which reduced wheat output by over 2% to 107 million tonnes, causing shortages and food inflation in the midst of a global cereal crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict. The shortage reduced the Centre's wheat procurement to a 15-year low of 18 million tonne.

According to the chief minister, 4.1 million metric tonnes of wheat have arrived in various mandis (farm-gate markets) across the state, with 3.2 million metric tonnes procured. In addition, Khattar stated that 212,000 metric tonnes of mustard have been purchased.

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