The prolonged dry spell in Himachal Pradesh has caused severe damage to the rabi crops and the maximum loss of Rs 2,857.78 lakh has been suffered in the Hamirpur district of the hill state, officials said on Thursday.
As per the report of field officers from across the state, out of 4,01,853 hectares, crops on 85,538.20 hectares of land have been damaged due to inadequate/ deficient rains.
In five districts of Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Mandi, Shimla and Sirmaur up to 33 per cent of Rabi crops have been damaged.
The total loss to the crop was estimated at Rs 9,462 lakh rupees so far in ten out of 12 districts in the state barring the tribal areas of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, a spokesman of the Agriculture department said.
The crop damage was below 33 per in the remaining five districts, the spokesperson added.
Rainfed areas have been hit the most by the weather. The crops of wheat, barley and peas have been affected due to lack of rain, he said.
Areas, where farmers were completely dependent on rain for irrigation, are the most affected, said State Agriculture Director Rajesh Kaushik.
He advised farmers to take care of their crops and consult the agricultural experts on steps to be initiated to save the crops from being damaged completely.
The state witnessed an overall rain deficiency of about 36 per cent from January 1 to February 28 and about 84 per cent from March 1 till March 8, while the rain deficit was nearly 100 per cent in the month of December 2022.