Hopes crashed, losses mount, price hike and uncertainty. This is the story of the crippled rural Inc., while India Inc. still revels with vigour over Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The smashing blow of unseasonable rainfall in the hinterland has impacted major rabi crops such as wheat, mustard, potato and other crops like mangoes and onion, threatening the already sluggish demand.
Heavy and in some manner, unwanted March rain has not only impacted the harvest of staple food items but has indirectly led to a sharp rise in prices of the important leafy vegetables and pulses in parts of Delhi and Mumbai. The hopes of bumper harvest this season and an eventual release of some debts of indebted farmers has thus transformed into woes.
Parts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been the worst hit in March. Unfortunately, even the most unlikely parts of Maharashtra to receive rain like Amravati, Solapur and Wardha could not escape the rainy spell of March.
Over 5 million hectares of land under wheat cultivation is adversely affected by heavy rain and strong winds. Almost 50% of the wheat harvest is reported to be damaged. Several places in North India and Maharashtra have received unprecedented rainfall since the beginning of March leading to worsening situation deep in India. And after suicides of farmers in drought stricken areas of Vidharbha and Marathwada, deaths of farmers in waterlogged fields of Uttar Pradesh is now the plight in hinterland. The numbers are stark and the situation: dismal.
Even though state governments have urged the Central government to compensate this drastic loss, action on the same is something we will have to wait and watch, while farmers stare at a potential nod to the urge as the discussions on the issue takes place in the Parliament with poor attendance from both the sides.
Rainfall figures in March
It’s not even a fortnight and adverse effect of the delayed winter rain has already been experienced. With one more western disturbance expected to affect North India around 14th March, the following areas may likely to suffer further.
Rain in March in parts of Punjab
Rain in March in parts of Uttar Pradesh