Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 23
The heavy shower that lashed the region on Tuesday has damaged basmati and paddy crop in about 1,000 acres in the district, said officials of the Agriculture Department here today after taking stock of the losses suffered by the farmers.
However, farmer leaders maintained that the rain had destroyed crop over thousands of acres.
Talking to The Tribune, Amritsar Chief Agriculture Officer Dr BS Chhina said the rainfall accompanied by strong winds had led to the flattening of crop in different pockets of the district.
Giving details, he said basmati and paddy crops in 350 acres in villages around Manawala, 150 acres in Attari segment, 175 acres in Tarsikka block, 100 acres in Ajnala and 100 acres in Majitha got damaged due to rain, apart from the losses in Rajasansi and other parts of the district.
The damaged crop includes Basmati’s 1509 and 1121 varieties. Besides, paddy crop also suffered damage in some areas. He said water was still stuck in low-lying areas and would take a toll on the crop.
He said the increase in temperature would see discolouration of grain and decline in yield in the areas where lodging of crop has been reported.
He said that harvesting would also get delayed by about 10 days due to rain.
He said the department has sent a detailed report about the crop loss to the headquarters. As per an estimate, Amritsar district alone has 1.36 lakh hectare area under basmati crop while another 44,000 hectares are under paddy crop.
Out of 1.36 lakh hectares under basmati, 40 per cent of the area is under 1509 variety while the rest is under 1121 variety.
Basmati 1509 variety matures early and it was virtually ready for harvesting when sudden rain lashed the region.
The crop has been particularly hit in the low-lying areas near Ravi and Beas rivers. On the other hand, farmer leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said the crop loss is much more than what is being projected by the Agriculture Department. He claimed that one-third of the total area under basmati and paddy witnessed crop damage.
Baljinder Singh, a farmer from Bohru village, said, “Tuesday’s rainfall has caused heavy waterlogging in our fields. It has become a headache for many farmers who may well be deprived of an opportunity to sow another crop like peas as they cannot harvest basmati or paddy under the current scenario.”
He said they were anyway not very hopeful of getting good returns keeping in view low basmati prices this year. But now, they could not even think of harvesting it for at least 10 days and going for the third crop.
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