‘Inclement weather’: Staring at less wheat yield, farmers in Punjab seek compensation per acre
“Against the usual 22 quintals per acre, this time I am getting only 17-18 quintals per acre from my fields,” Jagsir Singh Chhiniwal, a farmer from Chhiniwal village of Barnala, said.
Murmurs of protests started coming out of Punjab mandis on Saturday, with farmers stating that their wheat yield was less this year owing to increasing temperatures, and demanding compensation for the same. The protests by farmers comes a day after Punjab CM, Bhagwant Mann, had stated that the yield of wheat may fall this year due to temperatures shooting up.
Jagsir Singh Chhiniwal, a farmer from Chhiniwal village of Barnala, started harvesting his wheat crop on Saturday. Talking to The Indian Express, Chhiniwal said,”Against the usual 22 quintals per acre, this time I am getting only 17-18 quintals per acre from my fields. This year the Minimum Sale Price (MSP) for wheat has been set at Rs 2015 per quintal and hence I am expecting a loss of nearly Rs 8,000-10,000 per acre. The AAP government has always advocated to have worked for people’ s interest. So when are they going to announce a compensation for our less yield ? They have been making tall claims of compensating farmers in Delhi. Now, it is time to compensate the farmers of agrarian states as well.”
He added, “In March, the temperature this year had shot up to 38 degrees Celsius. Hence the grains shrunk, resulting in a loss in yield. ”
The Punjab government’s department of agriculture has already initiated crop cutting experiments at 2000 different locations of the state to find out the exact loss in yield that the farmers may face this year.
Gora Singh Bhainibagha, senior vice president of Punjab Kisan Union, and a farmer based in Bhainibagha village of Mansa said,”The yield of wheat crop is Rs 4-5 acres less compared to last year. We are being told by agricultural experts that excessive rise in temperature may have triggered this. The amount of straw coming out is also less because of the loss in yield. So it is a double loss for us. It needs to be mentioned that during this wheat season, we could not get DAP and urea on time, due to which the usage in our fields was less than recommended . These are the collective reasons for which farmers are staring at a loss this year.”
Ruldu Singh Mansa, President of Punjab Kisan Union, added, “The farmers must be compensated at the rate of Rs 10,000 per acre. We expect the government to soon make an announcement for our relief.” Amarinder Singh, president of PAU Kisan Club and a farmer based in village Lakhowal of Ludhiana, said, “I am yet to start harvesting, but many farmers in my village, Kohara, and those surrounding it have started reaping the crops. They say that their yield has fallen by 3-4 quintals per acre. Last year it was around 20 quintals per acre, which is down to 16-17 quintals per acre this time. I feel that the weather conditions were a major contributor in this and farmers will be suffering losses owing to the same. I appeal to the government to make an announcement soon as to how to compensate farmer losses.”
A number of farmers, on the other hand, have also revealed that they were not expecting any fall in yield as they remained up to date with the weather conditions and had watered their fields in the last 15 days before harvesting the crop. “It was indicated that no storm or rain is likely to happen. Hence, we watered our fields well in time due to which I am expecting that my yield may not fall at all. I will start harvesting the crop next week,” said a Mansa-based farmer.
Officials also said that the arrival of wheat too was was delayed this time and as of now limited supply was coming in to the mandis. Supply, however, is likely to pick-up from next week onwards.