Over 23,500 small and marginal farmers in the fruit belt of Shimla, Mandi, and Kullu have lost around 13,908 tonnes of crop, mainly apples worth Rs 272.3 mln (€3.27 mln) grown on 11,218 hectares, due to recent hailstorms, reveals a loss assessment report of the state Horticulture Department.
Farmers, however, say that damage caused by hailstones and heavy rainfall to “standing and blooming apple orchards” is much higher and the department is yet to assess this loss.
According to the report, hailstones, rain and gusty winds have severely destroyed over 13,908 tonnes of “full fruit crops” of over 23,500 small, marginal and other farmers (10,718 in Shimla, 7,262 in Mandi, 5,520 in Kullu; three main fruit producing districts).
Hailstones, rain and windstorms destroyed the fruit crop in 6,817 hectares in Shimla, 2,549 hectares in Mandi and 1,852 hectares in Kullu district early this week, the report states. The worst-affected areas are Janjehli and Karsog in Mandi district and Anni and Nirmand in Kullu district.