Scientists at Central Citrus Research Institute (CCRI) have advised farmers to harvest ready fruits before rains and store at safe places.
According to IMD, induced cyclonic circulation has formed over the northwestern plains, which is likely to bring rains over western parts of Madhya Pradesh from the evening of February 13. From February 14 onwards, the intensity and spread of these rains will increase. Nagpur is very likely to receive rains on February 15.
“Mrug Bahar is almost 100% ready. Nearly 10% of the fruits have been sold and 90% are still with farmers. If thunder showers hit, we are bound to lose more than 50% fruits. In 2017, a similar thunderstorm had created havoc in Vidarbha and we lost almost the entire crop,” said Manoj Jawanjal, an orange grower from Katol.
Farmers such as Swapnil Dhote from Yerla village near Nagpur have installed ‘hail net’ around trees to protect fruits. “There are some schemes of the state government through which farmers get funds to buy these nets. But, very few farmers know about these schemes. These nets can save fruits from moderate to stormy rains. However, nothing much can be protected in case of heavy thunder showers and hailstorms,” he said.
Dr MS Ladaniya, director of CCRI, has advised farmers to act fast to save crops. “Summer oranges are almost ready, but many farmers are still not harvesting them and waiting for better prices. As thunder showers are in the offing, they should complete the harvest of ready fruits immediately to avoid major loss,” he said.
He also suggested application of carbendazim in case of plant injuries. In case of branch fall, the broken branches, fruits, and buds should be cleared immediately to avoid development of fungal infection.