Absence of rain, snow damage Rabi crops in Uttarakhand
Pithoragarh, Jan 25
Rainless winter and spell of dry frost this year has not only destroyed most of the Rabi crops but also horticulture crops in the hills of Uttarakhand due to want of adequate water and moisture needed for these crops.
“Due to Al Nino effect on weather pattern this year, the rains have evaded the entire north India. As far as winter rains are concerned it rained 7.4mm on October 14 and 1 mm on December 1 while atleast 20 mm of rains are needed to save the Rabi crops,” said S.K. Verma, a crop scientist with Pant Nagar Agriculture University.
According to agricultural scientist, over 50 to 60 percent agriculture and horticulture crops have been destroyed in Kumaon region due to this unprecedented rainless winter this year. Pithoragarh Agricultural Officer Ritu Tamta has said that at least 18 mm rains is essential to save Rabi crops this season.
According to Pant Nagar University scientists, all hill districts of Kumaon region including Pithoragarh, Almora, Champawat, Bageshwar and Nainital have witnessed heavy damage to crops this winter due to absence of rains and snow.” While over 50 percent apple crop in Ramgarh area have been damaged, over 3 lakh farmers in hill districts of Kumaon region, have suffered from this no rain situation this winter,” said experts.
Mukteswar, Nathiakhan Dhanachuli and Hartola localities of apple growing belts of Nainital district, has witnessed over 50 percent damages to apple buds due to no rains and lack of 200 chill hours. According to agriculture scientists, the crops of wheat, barley and mustard in over 25000 hectares of cultivable land did not even germinated..
Pithoragarh District Horticulture Officer (DHO) Triloki Roy agreed that while frost is killing vegetables crops, no rain situation has hindered growth of fruits.”We have requested the district administration to assess the loss to farmers, after the survey, actual figure of crop loss could be known,” he said.