Incessant Rains Ruin Standing Crops, No Relief to Farmers
Farmers claim the government fails to provide compensation or relief when something like this happens
In Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Budh Nagar, farmers are reeling under the aftermath of incessant rains. They say most of the crop has now been destroyed.
On the outskirts of Noida, farmers in villages like Alwarpur and Bhudaka are facing huge losses. Speaking to The Citizen, Sukhbeer Sharma, a small-time farmer, who owns 4.5 acres of farming land said that the consistent rains have ruined their crops.
"Around this time, we usually begin the harvest as the crops are ready. But now the field is waist deep in water due to consistent rains," he said, standing outside his field.
The farmer who grows wheat said that the condition is the same in almost all adjacent villages. "I am a small-time farmer and the loss I have incurred is around Rs. 50,000. Imagine the efforts we put in to grow the crops and this happens. It is really depressing," he said.
Sharma, who is in his late 50s, said that he has opened a small pan shop on the side of the road so he can earn a small income.
Similarly, Ranasur Dayal Sharma, who owns 10 acres of land lost all his crops due to the rain. He also said that as his land is slightly lower to the ground level, it fills up with water quickly , as people from other villages divert excess water.
"I feel the only solution is to wait for death because this is no way of living. Mostly it is natural, but for the other part, people also make mistakes. I have invested close to 1 lakh on cultivation and all of it is in ruins now," he said.
A resident of Alwarpur, Dayal Sharma grows wheat and has been doing so since he has been a kid. "Ruining crops is nothing new, but this time the rains were more. However, if something like this happens, the government should do something to help us," he said.
Meanwhile, Dayal Sharma also averred that anyone who does not have Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme does not receive any kind of help.
Under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme, a flexible limit of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 has been provided to marginal farmers (as Flexi KCC) based on the land holding and crops grown including post-harvest warehouse storage related credit needs and other farm expenses, consumption needs, etc., plus small term loan.
"I do not have KCC so I do not receive compensation. This is also the issue with other farmers as well," he said.
Many parts of Delhi and NCR witnessed heavy rainfall since Saturday, waterlogging the cities and drowning the crops for the farmers. While experts said that rain in October is normal, farmers said that it has never rained at this level.
However, not a new phenomenon, farmers said that the government fails to provide them with compensation or relief of any kind when something like this happens.
Sheetal, 45, has leased 18 acres of land for farming. However, all her crops have been destroyed due to the rains. "For me, the only source of income is farming and animal husbandry. But mostly it is farming," she told The Citizen, outside her field in Budhaka.
Knee deep in debt, Sheetal had to take loans from various sources and people in the village. "Our whole life will be left giving interest on those loans," she said.
As her crops lay in ruins, she is afraid of the future. "I had 20 acres of land, but because we had to pay these loans, we had to sell our land. Now, we only have 3.5 acres left," she said.
The land on lease was supposed to help them financially, however with the crops ruined they are looking for constant interests.
"Our only request to the government is to help us fend off this debt, where our crops are ruined. No one can fight nature, but there are issues due to which water gets collected," she said.
Along with Sheetal, other farmers said that there is no proper system for water to flow away and many upper class zamindars have illegally placed water pumps in their farms, due to which water keeps on collecting.
"Most of them divert the water to our farms. My land is lower to the ground so there is no way of taking out water. We just have to wait for the ground to absorb it," she said.
Sheetal said that she has invested Rs three lakh on farming. Speaking about their ordeal, Devender, another farmer said that previous times the government has paid some farmers Rs. 1000 per acre. "I have three acres of land and all I got was Rs. 3000. That too is still pending," he added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has directed officials to provide immediate assistance to farmers who have been hit by the rain. The state government is conducting damage assessment surveys across UP.
However, all farmers have complained that no official has visited the ground yet. "There is no question of compensation because there is literally no help from the government," he said.
Sheetal added that despite trying to contact the officials, they have received no correspondence.
There is no compensation or loan waiver for the farmers, leaving them high and dry. The officials at the District Magistrate office in Noida did not respond. This report will be updated when they do.
Neeraj, another small-time farmer, said that the situation is worse than what it was during Covid. "We did suffer during Covid, but no doubt the ruining of our crops this time is worse," he added.
Meanwhile, authorities of a dozen districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Aligarh, Meerut, Gautam Buddh Nagar, and Ghaziabad, ordered closure of schools on Monday in the wake of heavy rains. In Aligarh, all schools up to class 12 were closed till October 12, officials said.