RAJKOT: Barely days after monsoon officially bid adieu, most coastal districts of Saurashtra reeled under another wet spell on Tuesday.
The sudden rainfall has only added to the woes of the farmers, who are already facing the threat of crop damage due to excessive rainfall. The rainfall on Tuesday rendered useless huge stock of harvested groundnut kept in the farms for drying. Farmers were planning to sell this groundnut stock after Diwali.
Several parts of Bhavnagar, Amreli, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar and Devbhumi Dwarka districts recorded significant rainfall. Before selling the groundnut, the farmers have to dry the crop for a week at least and the segregate the branches and clay.
Vinu Sheladia, who has 30 bighas land in Bathda village of Savarkundla taluka in Amreli district, said he his entire crop has been damaged. “Our Diwali joy has been ruined. My farm has virtually turned into a lake due to the sudden and incessant rain . I was expecting to get good money after Diwali.”
Sheladia said he had spent money for growing groundnut by taking loan. “I request the state government to compensate this loss,” he added.
Due to good rainfall, farmers in Saurashtra have harvested a bumper groundnut crop this year. According to estimates released by Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA), the production was expected to be around 30.19 lakh ton this year as compared to nearly 16 lakh ton last season.
Bharat Modhvadia, who has cultivated groundnut in Kuchdi village of Porbandar said, “We have suffered heavy losses due to this sudden rain in villages like Madhavpur, Aatroli. The wastage if crop is used as cattle feed. But next year, there will be crisis of food for cattle because of this unseasonal rain.”
Farmers and Bhavnagar and Junagadh district also echoed similar concerns. The coastal areas of Bhavnagar Mahuva and Talaja received heavy rainfall.
Not just groundnut, fruit growers were also hit by the wet spell as guava, custard apple and chikoos were seen scattered in the orchards.
Dr Jayanta Sarkar, regional director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), said a well-marked low-pressure area over east-central Arabian Sea is bringing rain to some areas of Saurashtra and South Gujarat . “Light to moderate showers are likely in Valsad and Navsari along with union territories of Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli on Wednesday. Other parts of the state might experience cloudy atmosphere but there are slim chances of rain,” he said.
Till 4pm on Tuesday, Waghai in Dang received 40 mm rainfall, followed by 35 mm and 24 mm in Malia and Keshod in Junagadh respectively, 22 mm in Savarkundla in Amreli and 20 mm in Netrang in Bharuch district.
IMD said that after Wednesday, the system is likely to travel northwestwards and the rainfall would stop. “There are chances of light rains in some parts of Gujarat after Sunday,” said an official.