23,500 fruit growers hit by hails, rain

23,500 fruit growers  hit by hails, rain

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 23

Over 23,500 small and marginal farmers in the fruit belt of Shimla, Mandi, and Kullu have lost around 13,908 metric tonnes (MT) of crop, mainly apple worth Rs 27.23 crore grown in 11,218 hectares, due to recent hailstorms, reveals a loss assessment report of the state Horticulture Department.

Farmers, however, say that damage caused by hailstones and heavy rainfall to “standing and blooming apple orchards” is much higher and the department is yet to assess this loss.

According to the report, a copy of which is with The Tribune, hailstones, rain and gusty winds have severely destroyed over 13,908 metric tonnes of “full fruit crops” of over 23,500 small, marginal and other farmers (10,718 in Shimla, 7,262 in Mandi, 5,520 in Kullu; three main fruit producing districts).

Hailstones, rain and windstorms destroyed the fruit crop in 6,817 hectares in Shimla, 2,549 hectares in Mandi and 1,852 hectares in Kullu district early this week, the report states.

The maximum damage was caused in Theog, parts of Kasumpati, Nawar Tikkar, Sungarr, Jigah and Ransar valleys in Rohru and parts of Chopal, Jubbal and Kotkhair in Shimla district, Anni and Banjar region in Kullu, Seraj and the Karsog-Churag region in Mandi district.

Crop ruined in Mandi, Kullu

Mandi: There is no end to the woes of farmers and fruit growers in Mandi and Kullu districts where hailstorm did a considerable damage to vegetable and fruit crops on April 20, causing a loss of crores to farmers.

The worst-affected areas are Janjehli and Karsog in Mandi district and Anni and Nirmand in Kullu district.

The Agriculture Department has assessed around Rs 40-lakh loss to farmers in Mandi district where 60 per cent crops have been damaged. The Horticulture Department has assessed 35-lakh loss to fruit growers.

In Kullu district, the Horticulture Department has assessed Rs 8-crore loss. The major parts of Anni and Nirmand in Kullu are covered under fruit cultivation.

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