Dry spell affects standing crops in Himachal Pradesh

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Sirmour (HP), Mar 14 (ANI): Lack of rain and dry weather conditions have adversely affected farmers in Himachal Pradesh which has witnessed one of the driest and warmest winters in decades.

Farmers are facing severe crisis as around eighty per cent of garlic, wheat and onion crops have been damaged. There is no good ginger crop as well.

"We don't know what to do. The region has not witnessed any rainfall after the monsoon season. You can see only women working in the fields and most of the men have started going out in search of other jobs," said Suresh, a farmer.

Many farmers are looking for other avenues of income and are migrating to other places.

"We have incurred huge losses. Ginger crop has been damaged and people have stopped growing wheat," said Ramesh, another farmer.

Lack of rain has damaged apple crop.

The dry spell has also affected Rabi (winter) crop sowing. Normally, the sowing of wheat and other crops is complete by late December.

Inadequate snowfall in the hills during winter also leads to water scarcity during summer as most sources of water are snow fed.

Agriculture is the mainstay of India's economy with more than half of the population relying on the sector for livelihood.

Irregular rainfall, frost, pest infestation, floods cause huge rop damage every year. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)

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