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    Published On : Wed, Feb 21st, 2018

    Warning bells for Maha farmers, hailstorm may hit 5 distts from 23 Feb

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    Nagpur/Mumbai: A bad news is in store for farmers of Maharashtra as India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued hailstorm warning for five districts of north Maharashtra region from February 23 for the next 48 hours. It has also predicted similar warning for Aurangabad district of Marathwada on 24Feb.

    Due to the bad weather the destruction of cultivated land in the state will rise significantly. The State exchequer which is already facing paucity of funds will have more stree due to this.

    Thunderstorm accompanied with hailstorm is likely to occur at isolated areas over five districts of north Maharashtra — Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar from February 23 for the next 48 hours, says the fresh IMD forecast. It added that the thunderstorm along with hailstorm is likely to hit Aurangabad district of Marathwada on February 24 for the next 24 hours.

    Agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar said that the agriculture department has now asked the farmers to take all possible precautions to minimise damages. This includes storing crops at secure places, to take shelter in case of hailstorm and thunderstorm, cover cultivated crops if possible and so on.

    Marathwada and Vidarbha, the two regions in the state were worst hit by the adverse weather conditions, which began on February 11 and continued till February 13. Farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha are among the most vulnerable in the state because these regions are prone to droughts.

    So far, more than 3,724 villages across 19 districts have been affected. As per the preliminary estimate of the State Agriculture Department, damage to the crops by hailstorm and unseasonal rains has reached around 3 lakh hectares.

    The most affected districts are Amravati (45,868 hectares), Buldana (40,385 hectares), Osmanabad (30,112 hectares), Jalna (30,000) and Nanded (29,535).

    The affected farmers will get compensation as per the norms laid down under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). To compensate farmers for the losses, Maharashtra government has already sought financial assistance of Rs 200 crore from the Centre .

    As per the NDRF norms, farmers who cultivate crops on non-irrigated land will get compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare for damage caused by natural calamities. The agriculture minister said that for irrigated land, farmers are entitled to get compensation of Rs13,500 per hectare, while for horticulture or perennial crops, they get Rs18,000 per hectare. However, in all cases, compensation will be limited to two hectares only.

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