INDIA - Due to hailstorm, unseasonal rains over 9.38 million hectares of rabi crops were destroyed as on April 16, 2015based on the preliminary assessment provided by the states, Indian minister of state for agriculture, Mohanbhai Kundaria said in a statement.
However, it is too early to arrive at the exact assessment of damage to production to rabi crops due to rains/hailstorms etc, the minister adds.
On farmers suicide, Kundaria said Maharashtra has reported 3 farmers suicide due to untimely rains and hailstorms during the period January to March 2015.
However, as per report received from some of the states, namely, Punjab, Karnataka, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there have been no incidents of farmers suicides due to agrarian distress caused by unseasonal rains and hailstorm.
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is concerned with coordination of relief measures necessitated by drought, hailstorm, pest attack, cold wave/frost. In the event of any or more of the listed natural calamities taking place in the State(s), fund is readily available with the State Governments under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Additional financial assistance, over and above SDRF is considered from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for natural calamities of severe nature and is approved on basis of Memorandum of State Government in accordance with established procedure keeping in view items and norms in vogue for assistance, the minister said.
Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) have been constituted to visit the affected States to assess the damage to crops and recommend financial assistance in accordance with extant norms and procedure.
IMCTs have already visited the States of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and assessed the ground situation, the minister revealed. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana have send a memoranda for seeking financial assistance of $118 million (Rs 744.48 crores), $1.30 billion (Rs 8252 crores) and $180 million (Rs 1135.91 crores) respectively in the wake of hailstorm from NDRF.