Erratic monsoons are turning a dampener this Diwali for the rural community.
"The weather is driving farmers crazy. Afraid of increase in pest incidence due to excess moisture, farmers are spraying pesticides during the small intervals between rainfall even though the rain is washing it away immediately," said Jagannath Khapre, president, All India Grape Exporters Association. Farmers also fear shortages of pesticides.
Soyabean crop harvest had just begun in Maharashtra, the second-largest producer of the oilseed.
Rainfall will affect crop quality thus reducing returns for farmers. MG Gunjkar, secretary, Latur APMC, said, "Soyabean harvest, which had recently begun, has come to a halt due to rainfall. There is the possibility of deterioration in quality, in which case, farmers may not be able to get even the government support price."
Telangana has also seen excess rainfall in October. According to preliminary estimate of the state government, crops on 65,000 hectares have been damaged, of which, 53,000 hectares is cotton The state is the first to harvest cotton and prices have been ruling lower than the minimum support price due to high moisture content. In Karnataka, army worm has at tacked the kharif crop. "There has been a wild outbreak of army worm on maize, ragi and red gram.We anticipate losses of 20 per cent in maize," said a Karnataka Agriculture Department official.
In Karnataka, kharif acreage has declined from 71.7 lakh hectares to 64 lakh hectares due to deficit rainfall. Low rains in June and July had caused yield losses of 25 per cent to 50 per cent depending upon the districts.Heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds, since October 9 in South Bengal have affected vegetable and the kharif paddy in certain areas.
By BOA Bureau