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Massive Protest in Three States as Farmers Struggle with Crop Damage Due to Unseasonal Rains

Untimely rains, hailstorms and strong winds have impacted wheat crops across more than 5.23 lakh hectares in three states.

Shruti Kandwal
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has called on MLAs to meet with farmers.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has called on MLAs to meet with farmers.

Unfavourable weather conditions have caused significant crop damage in three states, raising concerns over a considerable decrease in yield for farmers and potential harvesting difficulties.

Approximately 5.23 lakh hectares of the wheat crop have been destroyed in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, causing widespread protests in various parts of the states. Some areas have also seen the protests take on a political tone with the involvement of Congress leaders.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has called on MLAs to meet with farmers to listen to their grievances and ensure that the special "girdawari" is completed quickly so that compensation can be disbursed before Baisakhi.

Mann expressed solidarity with the farmers who suffered losses due to rain and hailstorms, promising that every single penny of loss would be compensated. The state government recently raised compensation for crop damage caused by weather uncertainties by 25%.

Meanwhile, in Haryana, Congress leaders have criticized the BJP-led government, demanding that each farmer be provided with adequate compensation of ₹65 thousand within 24 hours to help them out of this crisis.

Assessments of wheat crop damage are currently underway in both states. Government procurement at minimum support price has begun in some parts of Madhya Pradesh.

Union Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja told PTI that the government will review the extent of damage caused to wheat and other rabi crops, along with state governments on Monday.

Due to the western disturbances, unseasonal rainfall, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and strong winds have been present in the key wheat-growing states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh over the previous two weeks. The unexpected rains, which started just as the winter crop was about to be harvested, are predicted to last for a few more days.

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