As harvesting time nears, it’s raining trouble for farmers

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
With a heavy spell of shower lashing the region throughout the day, the woes of the farming community are set to multiply as their standing basmati and paddy crop, which is ready for harvesting, may get severely damaged.
The early varieties of basmati which were about to mature were particularly hit as there were reports of lodging of crop from different pockets of Amritsar. Besides, the farmers who were already been complaining about basmati low prices have been further hit as almost their entire produce has got drenched in rain.
Talking to The Tribune, Dilbagh Singh, a farmer from Lalu Ghuman village in Tarn Taran, said heavy rain had led to waterlogging in his fields where he had grown basmati 1509. “Our hopes of getting a reasonable price for the produce have been dashed. Already basmati’s 1509 variety is fetching one-third of the price as compared to last year,” he rued.
Harpreet Singh, another farmer from Chohla Sahib, said his basmati crop had suffered damage due to heavy rain. Jasbir Singh, a farmer who brought his produce to Bhagtanwala grain market, said he had lost whatever little hope he had of taking home some returns from his crop.
“Last year, we sold basmati for Rs2,400 per quintal but this year it was already down to mere Rs1,000 per quintal. Now, with rain damaging our produce we have lost all hope,” he said. The farmers who had taken land on lease were bearing the brunt as they would find it difficult to clear their dues, leave alone pocketing some returns, he added.
Another farmer, lamented lack of facilities like tarpaulin sheets to cover their produce and unplanned construction activity at the grain market while blaming the authorities for their losses.
Farmer leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said the farmers' cup of woes was brimming as their standing basmati crop had suffered damage while the harvested crop was finding no takers.
Jamhuri Kisan Sabha chief Satnam Singh Ajnala said the crop in the low-lying area had been badly hit and there were reports of about 20 per cent loss till now. He apprehended that the farmers' losses might mount further if it continued to rain for another day. He demanded that the state government should give adequate compensation to the farmers.
Amritsar Chief Agriculture Officer BS Chhina said there was a possibility of lodging of crop as rain was accompanied by strong winds. He said they would take stock of the losses once the rain stopped. He revealed that it rained 30 mm in Amritsar from last night till this morning.