Unseasonal rain to damage Rabi crops
NEW DELHI: Another bout of unseasonal rain might spell disaster for rabi crop growers in North-western and central India. The weather department officials predict a ‘western disturbance’ would strike the Himalays on March 5, thereby causing moderate to heavy rains.
A few days before a heavy burst of unseasonal rain and stormy weather across the country has severely damaged ravi crops worth thousands of crores.
The weather office says the next rain-bearing weather system called ‘western disturbance’ would strike the Himalayas on March 5, and two days after that another such weather phenomenon would hit the hilly states as well as plains of northwestern and central India. The previous bout of rain had hit huge tracts of land under wheat, mustard, yellow peas, potato and other horticulture crop.
The forecast of weather in the days ahead is gloomy. “We expect a series of western disturbances during March, starting from March 8th, 16th and 21 st, which could impact the winter crops. In April we also expect rains on 1st and 14th. The rains will be spread across north, north west and eastern states with intensity of rainfall on March 8th and 21st likely to be heavy or moderate,” said Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet- a private weather forecasting company.
March rainfall can be disastrous said Ajay Jakhar, chairman of Delhi-based farmer association Bharat Krishak Samaj, adding, “If the rains come a month ahead of the harvesting time it is always disastrous. It can hit production for a crop like wheat by 20-30%. If rain is accompanied by hailstorm and wind the losses can go by over 50%.”
Skymet said that rains over Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has led to a 30- 40% loss of crop sown on 6.3 million hectare. Pulses, particularly yellow peas and channa, have been also affected as almost 25% of production has been impacted.