It’s raining croploss
Unseasonal rain, hail storms, snowfall and other forms of precipitation, even though welcomed in Indian urban bubbles, are, nevertheless, proving to be a menace for the farmers across the length and breadth of the country. As reports of hail chunks killing over 10 and wounding scores in Andhra Pradesh come in, news of swathes of cropland destroyed in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh too pour in. Together, they represent the tangible and material losses that climate change can bring upon, both at local and global levels. Micro-level climate vulnerability is not only impacting small and big farmers and others in assorted agro-businesses, it is equally affecting the state-owned granaries and crop stores that ensure round the year availability of grains and cash crops, causing enormous losses to the government exchequer. Untimely showers and snowstorms have disrupted the harvest cycles, interfering with cultivation of grapes, pomegranates, wheat and onions, among other food crops, gravely endangering the farmers and the livestock dependent on these seasonal crop outputs. This shows not only that state administrations are ill-equipped to deal with the ravages, mostly human-induced, of nature, but also show that safety belts for small and medium farmers are singularly lacking. Lack of regular crop assessment, availability of amenities such as good quality seeds, as well as adequate flood/rain control measures from the states, in addition to the freakishness of nature that farmers have to deal with now, are likely dig deep holes in the agricultural sector.