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Excess rainfall leads to large-scale crop losses in Madhya Pradesh, farmers flustered

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Jaffer Multani

AGAR-MALWA/BHOPAL: As many as 36 districts have been hit by flood following several spells of excessive rainfall in Madhya Pradesh.

Large scale crop loss and other infrastructural damages have been reported across state, with the initial loss estimates at Rs 10,000 crores. Also 220 lives have been lost in the deluge.

Chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh SR Mohanty has said that of this, Rs 8000 crore losses are in agriculture sector and the figure of total losses are likely to go up when the final estimates are made. Central government team is likely to visit the state for first phase loss assessment on September 19 and 20 and final assessment by month end, following which relief package is expected.

However, farmers are extremely flustered over the excess rain situation that has wiped out their crops and made them worried about repayment of loans and routine cost of living. Typical example could be seen in Sahab Nagar of Agar Malwa district, where the agriculture fields of 90 farming families have turned into ponds, totally ruining the crops.

Suresh Joshi, a farmer with 22-member family and 40 bigha land is totally hopeless now as his soybean crop has been totally damaged. The family is under loan of Rs 5 lakh and had spent Rs 1.80 lakh on sowing of the crop. He is now worried about the loan and upset that cross survey has not been undertaken yet. In a nearby field of 9 bighas, Rajesh had also sown soybean crop, which has been totally damaged by the floodwater.

Rajesh had taken a loan of Rs two lakh and hopeful of paying it back after the selling his crop produce. He now expects government to provide compensation and insurance money at earliest. Thousands of farmers across the district and the state are facing similar fate and complaint that though the crop insurance premium are deducted while taking agriculture loan, proper insurance money is not received after the damage.

The district collector of Agar Malwa, Sanjay Kumar said that the district has received almost double of the expected rainfall and this has caused widespread damage to crops and infrastructure apart from loss of life of 18 people. He said that initial estimates of crop loss are being made and as soon as a dry spell in received, field to field loss survey would be taken up as currently the weather situation does not permit such field survey. He assured that none of the farmers with losses will be left out of the compensation process.

Jaffer Multani

Senior journalist Jaffer Multani covers the region of Malwa, particularly, Shajpur and Agar Malwa districts.