The NDA government recently launched a new crop insurance scheme titled Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to mitigate the rural distress caused by crop failure or damage due to factors like unseasonal rains, monsoon failure, storms, floods, pests and diseases. According to the Agriculture Census Report 2010-11, the number of operational holdings (all land which is used wholly or partly for agricultural production and is operated one technical unit by one person alone or with others without regard to the title, legal form, size or location) was 138.35 million of which wholly owned and self-operated holdings accounted for 97.61 per cent in 2011.
The rainfall in November, December, and January in the western and central parts of Cuba didn't allow Cuban farmers to achieve a crop yield similar to the one they got last year, when they collected 120,000 tons of potatoes. Producers are very worried after seeing the fields covered by water and the advancement of pests and diseases associated with this phenomenon. Given the damage to crops caused by rain, the cooperative and peasant sectors are trying to replant the salvageable plantations, and planting short-cycle crops in the areas that are not salvageable.
The hailstorm that took place on Friday last week in some parts of the region of Axarquia has caused damage of varying degrees to fifty greenhouses, some early potato crops and fruits, such as loquat and avocado. At least that is what emerges from the preliminary report carried out by the technicians of Oficina Comarca Agraria (OCA) in Vélez-Málaga, an institution under the Provincial Delegation of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development. Fifty greenhouses have suffered some form of damage from the hailstorm registered last Saturday in the region. The most serious damage affects 15 greenhouses, all in the area of El Morche, in the town of Torrox.
The future is looking bleak for South Africa's agriculture sector; damage by fires and drought to the Western Cape's wine and fruit industries is estimated at R720 million, yet MEC of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde believes the impact on the entire agriculture sector could run into the billions. The chairwoman of the Western Cape Legislature’s standing committee on economic opportunities, tourism and agriculture, said the province’s wine and fruit industries have suffered losses far greater than anticipated.
The members of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association, affiliated to Communist Party of India (CPI), led by senior leader R. Nallakannu, laid siege to Kovilpatti Revenue Divisional Office on Tuesday, demanding adequate compensation for crop damage suffered by farmers. Farmers suffered heavy loss after their crops were damaged by heavy rains during the Northeast monsoon last year. Farmers had taken up cultivation of rainfed crops such as black gram, green gram and maize anticipating rains. But excessive rainfall caused extensive damage to crops.
The damage to farmers across Israel due to the stormy conditions and frost from last week is upwards of 14 million shekels (just over $3.5 million). The number was reported by Kanat, the Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture. Since Thursday, the insurance fund has received over 700 phone calls from farmers regarding damage to their property or crops that was caused by the storm. The majority of the damage was caused by frost that occurred in various parts of Israel, mainly in the south. According to Kanat, frost is the greatest threat to farmers, and without a government instituted insurance plan many farmers would go bankrupt in situations like this.
Hailstones the size of ‘‘chocolate Lindt balls’’ hammered down on a Longford, Victoria berry business last Thursday 28 January, causing at least $20,000 in crop losses. Longford Berries is a small local operation that produces gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries and owner Dennis Betts said they had lost most of the crop. The operation supplies a small amount of fruit to Youngs Vegie Shed but Mr Betts said mostly it had become a local and tourist ‘‘pick your own’’ berry attraction.
The chairman of the National Peasant Confederation (CNC), Arturo Contreras Hernandez, announced that nearly 800 hectares of the 1,600 hectares of strawberries planted in Irapuato suffered heavy damage due to the rains and cold at the beginning of the year. Producers expect they will recover this loss with a new planting. He added that the rain and cold had also caused damages to vegetables, such as the lettuce and radish from Irapuato. The strawberries had been affected during their flowering stage, when the orchards in Irapuato had started to produce fruits.
Torrential rain in south Florida is expected to increase prices with product shortages through late winter and early spring. In late January, heavy rains fell in Palm Beach County, one of the state’s largest growing regions of vegetables, halting harvests. From Jan. 26-28, continuous rains — up to 8 inches — soaked fields of sweet corn, green beans, celery, radishes, leafy greens and other vegetables and flooded some areas, leaving crops underwater. Vegetable grower, president of Roth Farms and principal owner of Ray’s Heritage LLC, estimates damage across the board to be 25%-50%.
Last night, Tuesday 26 January, it was announced that up to $2.69 million will be made available to Nova Scotia fruit tree growers to help them financially recover from an outbreak of fire blight in trees that followed post-tropical storm Arthur in 2014. The money will be dispersed over 5 years, with the federal government covering 60 per cent of the cost and the Nova Scotia government covering the rest. Fire blight is a disease that affects apple and pear trees; an estimated 95 per cent of orchards in Nova Scotia were affected in some way by the fire blight after the 2014 storm.
Chinese citizens are embracing for, what is said to be, the coldest winter in 30 years. The temperature in some parts of Northern China has dropped to -48 degrees and the cold is expected to spread over the weekend. Some schools have shut down and public services are disrupted. The sea around Qingdao port in the Northeast has frozen. There are concerns that the cold will damage fruit and vegetables. The Daily Mail published a comment of a farmer who is concerned that, if the cold stays below zero for several days, only 10% of his vegetable crop will survive.
Farmer groups have demanded that the recently announced Prime Minister should cover the risks and crop losses inflicted by wild animals, such as elephants and wild boars, among others. These wild animals, mainly in peripheral areas of national parks and wild life sanctuaries, increasingly pose a risk to farmers around those regions. Farmers are inflicted with crop losses and other damages when herds of such animals occasionally stray from their habitats and enter farm lands, destroying the fields and plantations.
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