Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said preliminary reports suggest that there is not much impact on standing rabi crops like wheat due to the current untimely rains and hailstorm.
The minister, however, said that the Centre is yet to receive ground reports from the state governments.
Speaking with PTI on the sidelines of an event, Tomar said, "There is not much impact on rabi crops as per the preliminary assessment." The state governments are still assessing the damage to the standing rabi crops, he said.
The state governments can use the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for providing immediate relief to farmers after conducting the crop survey. The central government can provide more funds from the National Disaster Relief Fund after the submission of a memorandum, he added.
Wheat is the main rabi crop, harvesting of which is underway in some states. Mustard and chickpea are other major rabi crops.
Many parts of the country received unseasonal rains, hail and gusty winds brought about by Western disturbances in the last three days.
In the last 24 hours, heavy rainfall at isolated places was reported from West Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Hailstorms at isolated places were reported in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir in the last 24 hours.
As per the latest forecast, isolated thunderstorms, lightning, gusty winds and hailstorm are expected over Uttarakhand and West Rajasthan on March 23 and over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana on March 24.
On Monday, the central government said there is no concern about mustard and chickpea (chana) crops as most of it has been harvested. In the case of horticultural crops, localised hailstorms might have affected some crops like banana and potato.
The government has projected a record wheat output of 112.2 million tonnes for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June).
Meanwhile, IMD has advised farmers of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to postpone harvesting.
Farmers in Assam have been asked to postpone harvesting of fruits and vegetables and move the already harvested produce to safer places immediately. Farmers have been told to postpone maize sowing in Sikkim and jute sowing in sub-Himalayan West Bengal.
Farmers should drain out excess water from crop fields, provide mechanical support to horticultural crops and staking to vegetables, use hail nets to protect apple, pear, plum and peach orchards in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and orchards in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, East Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
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