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India: Rain and hail cause havoc in grape producing area

The Indian grape growing area of Nashik was hit by rain and hail this weekend, the full extent of the damage will not be known for a few days but sources say around 30% of the crop could be damaged.

Officials have begun assessing the damage to the produce, which could be almost 100% in some cases.

Six talukas of the district were hit by 1,202mm rainfall accompanied by hailstorms resulting in a loss of crops on about 38,500 hectares, district officials said.

After destroying 18,000 hectares of grapes on Thursday, rain continued to cause more destruction. Mango and cashew crops in northern parts of Maharashtra had to bear the maximum brunt of such unseasonal rains.

Heavy showers on Friday damaged mango flowers in Konkan. Famous Alphonso mangoes in Ratnagiri have also been severely affected.

“There has been severe damage due to the hailstorm. Almost 60% of grape foliage has been damaged across 1,200 acres,” informed Nalin Rawal, business head, Agri business solution, Skymet Meteorology Division in India.

According to Skymet, with a wind speed of 30 kmph, rains were witnessed in several parts of the Nashik District. The devastating rain causing damage was 9.5 mm in Wadnair, 11.2 mm in Umrane, 6.8 mm in Nandgaon, 5.3 mm in Deola, 3.05 mm in Pathardi.

Due to the rains, temperatures in several parts of Nashik dropped by 6-8°C last evening.

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