Potato farmers in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are having a harrowing time as unseasonal rains created havoc on standing crops. The situation has become grim as there is an increase in farmers’ suicide across the country.
A potato farmer reportedly died of heart attack in Farrukhabad district of northern Uttar Pradesh state on seeing his farmland destroyed in the heavy downpour on Monday.
Similar scenario was reported from eastern Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal too. Farmers complained of huge loss to the potato harvest due to excessive rains. “We are incurring huge losses and we are not getting any returns from our cultivation. Farmers are not left with any other option than committing suicide as they are facing heavy debts,” said Sanjay, a farmer from Jalpaiguri.
Millions of small farmers are juggling to survive as unpredictable weather hits their only source of income. More than a dozen people have died due to unprecedented, unseasonal rain and hailstorm that lashed parts of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Punjab over the past weekend.
Rain coupled with sharp drop in temperatures has posed threat to ripe Rabi crop that was ready for harvest. Standing rabi crop like wheat, mustard and gram have been damaged in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The potato output is likely to be adversely affected with loss ranging between 20-60 %.