Wheat loss of around 150,000 tons occurred due to severe hail storm and heavy rain in Punjab, left the farmers devastated. According to the Punjab Agriculture Department the damage to crops is around 150,000 tons and more. During 2018 to 2019 of Rabi, wheat cultivation was around 16.165 million acres with a production target of 19.5 million tons. Recently, the non-seasonal rain and severe hail storm have damaged the matured wheat crops and doomed the Pakistani Farmers. These are reduced to one to one and 50,000 tons due to adverse weather conditions in Punjab.
Wheat Loss and Devastated Farmers
Farmers are devastated after their heavy loss. This severe weather lashed out on Southern and Central Punjab and ruined the harvested crops. According to the official reports, the areas which severely suffered are Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Chiniot, and Chakwal.
Khanewal farmers saw the hail storm and they were terrified. One of the farmer named Syed Imran Shah explained the catastrophic event that he has never seen this in 40 years and these were like bullets from the sky. In this regard, he told the media with heavy heart that 40% of the 90 acres of crops are ruined which were ready to harvest.
Well, according to reports not only wheat crops, but cotton, mustard, tomato and mangos are affected as well. Wheat is considered as the essential part of a diet of 60% of Pakistani People and this has left many sole earners in bad condition. The amount 150,000 tons of wheat loss is huge and cannot be neglected. Moreover, this heavy rain and hailing have taken around 39 lives and injured 130 people.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department, they have warned the farmers before this calamity that there will be a severe downpour and they need to store and harvest their crops immediately. However, farmers were unaware of these predictions due to communication barriers and lack of storage space. These devastated farmers are demanding immediate relief from the government.
The president of the Kissan Board Pakistan, Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad said that government should launch a survey of the areas affected by the severe storm, rain and hailing. A farmer from Pakpattan named “Aamer Hayat Bhandara” explained that this has wrecked the quality of crops and it has increased the cost of harvesting now. These severe weather conditions will be having a drastic impact on the sowing of crops next year too.
Farmers are now demanding a compensation and the initiation of insurance of these crops. This is a huge loss for the farmers and our country as a whole as their all efforts go in vain. This is the only source of earning for many farmers and villages and they cannot afford this wheat loss. In order to make these farmers adapt to the climate changes, proper training in the context of precautionary measures and other practices needs to be adopted.
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