The unseasonal rains have not only caused damage to the flowers, but also pests and diseases have hit the crops. To protect them, insecticides have to be sprayed. This has increased the cost significantly.
For the last few days, there has been unseasonal rain in different areas of Maharashtra. Due to this, the farmers cultivating flowers and fruits have suffered the most. Not only the producers but also the traders of APMC mandis have been affected by this unseasonal rain. The quality of seasonal fruits has been affected due to rain. Traders say that due to this the prices may increase and if the sale is not done soon then the fruit will rot.
Unseasonal rains in Maharashtra may also delay the much talked about Alphonso mangoes. Right now Alphonso is in the first stage of flowering and the flowers are damaged due to rain. The same is the case with fruits like grapes, figs and strawberries. All flowering fruits have to bear the brunt of unseasonal rains.
Huge loss for three years
For the last 35 years, Gulab Neharkar, a grape farmer and supplier, has never suffered as much loss as he is suffering for the last three years. Talking to Hindustan Times, he said that unseasonal rains have been an issue for the last three years. Since last year, COVID has added to our woes even more. All the flowering crops have been completely damaged by the rain.
Neharkar, a resident of Junnar in Pune, said that the unseasonal rains have not only caused damage to the flower but also caused pest and disease to the crops. To protect them, insecticides have to be sprayed. This has increased the cost significantly. Many farmers are preparing to leave farming and sell their land by looking at the pattern of the last three years.
Fruits will come late, there will be less time for sale
Sanjay Pansare, director of the fruit market at APMC, said that like grapes, strawberries, figs and mangoes have also suffered damage. He told that grapes mainly come from Nashik, Pune, Sangli and Solapur districts. It has rained in these districts as well. Wherever there has been unseasonal rain, crops have been damaged.
Pansare said that whatever fruits are coming after the rains, all are of low quality. The price has not increased but quality fruits are not coming. Because of this people are ready to pay higher price to buy high quality fruits already available.
He said that the mangoes which used to come in the market earlier till February 15, will now come only after February. Due to the delay, the farmers will get less time to sell. Earlier farmers could sell fruits for 90 days, but due to delay they would have only 60 days. This will affect the farmers as well as the traders.
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