New Delhi: The Center on Monday said there has been some damage to rabi (winter) crops, including wheat, due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms caused by western disturbances, but is yet to receive reports from states. Speaking to PTI, Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chowdhary said the state governments are using the funds under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF). Chowdhary said, “Some damage has happened. We have not received the damage assessment reports from the state governments.
The minister said that if the state governments submit reports after assessing the extent of damage, the central government will provide compensation under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), several parts of the country received unseasonal rain and hailstorm in the last few days due to western disturbances.
In its daily forecast, it said thunderstorms, lightning, gusty wind, and hailstorm were very likely at isolated places over west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and east Rajasthan on March 20 and over Uttarakhand on March 21.
Meanwhile, the IMD has advised farmers in Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh to postpone harvesting of wheat and other rabi crops. In the case of mature crops, the IMD has advised farmers to harvest crops like mustard and gram at the earliest in some states and store them in safe places.
Farmers have also been asked not to irrigate the wheat crop to avoid crop failure. Wheat is the main rabi (winter) crop and harvesting has already started in some parts of the country. The government has estimated a record wheat production of 112.2 million tonnes for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June).