Thirty-two thousand hectares of wheat crops in the district.
Pithoragarh: The continuous rainfall and hailstorm in the district from mid-April till now have hit farmers badly.
Shyam Singh, a wheat farmer, said that nearly 70 per cent of his wheat crop is damaged. He was able to save the crop which he harvested before the rain. He added, “For the last two years the same thing is happening, I do not think any insurance will compensate us now. This is the only source of income for me, I do not know, what to do.”
Agriculture contributes 11 per cent of Uttarakhand’s Gross State Domestic Product and is the chief source of livelihood for 70 per cent of the population. The major crops grown in the state are rice, wheat, sugarcane and, maize. Pithoragarh is no different, with thirty-two thousand hectares of land in the district used for wheat farming, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The officials, from the District Agriculture Department, said that they are well aware of the situation and working with the horticulture department to change the pattern of farming in the district. They will also try to compensate the farmers facing loss.
A Survey conducted by the state government on climate change concluded, that there would be a change in weather due to continuous deforestation, forest fires, and global warming which will result in unseasonal rainfall. The report also recommended that the farming patterns should be changed in the coming years.
Dr Sunita Sharma, the horticulture researcher, said that the possibility of sudden weather change is really high in the district, so one should already prepare themselves. She added, “We should be growing fruits with good branches like apples and litchi. Obviously, they are impacted by rainfall but not as much as wheat. We should change the farming patterns based on the weather.”