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Crops hit in Charkhi Dadri, Bhiwani; farmers seek help

September 17, 2019 05:03 AM


Crops hit in Charkhi Dadri, Bhiwani; farmers seek help

Sunil Rahar

Rohtak : Farmers from Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri districts have demanded compensation for their crops—bajra (millet), cotton and guar (cluster beans)—damaged due to erratic rainfall and white fly attack.

Claiming damages to the tune of 50-100 per cent, the farmers are now pinning their hopes on the government assistance to make up for the losses.

According to agriculture department in Bhiwani, cotton was sown on 1.20 lakh hectares and guar on 60,000 hectares.

Dayanand Punia, a farm leader from Bhiwani district, said while damage to guar crop had been witnessed on a large scale, with the loss being up to 75 per cent due to elusive rains in past one month, more than 50 per cent of the cotton crop was hit due to white fly attack.

The initial sowing of the bajra was cultivated while 25 per cent of late sowing was damaged due to rainfall.

Punia said the farmers’ suffering has been aggravated due to lack of compensation as the government is yet to declare drought.

“They are declaring drought in regions with 24 per cent less rainfall. This time, both the districts have witnessed over 40 per cent less rainfall and is yet to be declared as ‘drought-hit’,” said Punia as he demanded ₹25,000 per acre compensation for bajra, ₹50,000 for cotton, ₹35,000 for Guar.

Farmers sowing cotton and bajra are insured under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and would get their claims from insurance companies based on damage. However, the ones sowing guar, which is not included in the insurance scheme, would be dependent on the government’s help.

Rambir Sheoran, a farmer from Garwa village in Bhiwani, whose entire crop was damaged due to erratic rainfall said, “Guar is not covered under the scheme and the officials are claiming that they would not compensate me for the loss. Why are we allowed to cultivate this crop if we cannot be compensated in case of losses? I have lost nearly ₹17,000 per acre and don’t know which door to knock,” the farmer rued.

Ravinder Singh, another farmer from Berla village in Dadri, whose 2 acres of cotton crop was damaged due to white fly said, “The government should initiate special Girdawari (surveyorship) and compensate the farmers before the sowing starts for Rabi crop,” he said. Pratap Singh, deputy director, Agriculture (Bhiwani), said, “We are inspecting the fields. Cotton was damaged due to white fly and other insects at small scale. It was good at large number of areas. The government will not compensate guar growers under PMFBY, but they can be benefited if government initiates special Girdawari,” he added.

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