Ludhiana: Despite extensive damage caused to wheat crop in certain pockets of Punjab by unexpected heavy rains and hailstorm in the last couple of days, the Punjab government has expressed confidence of surpassing the wheat production target of 14.5 million tonnes this year.
“Although, wheat crop in certain areas has been damaged by rain and hailstorm, we are confident of outstripping the production target by at least 500,000 tonnes,” B S Sidhu, director, Agriculture (Punjab), said on 14 March.
Punjab state has sown wheat in rabi season over 3.45 million hectares this year and has set a production target of 14.5 million tonnes.
Sidhu, who was touring wheat crop areas severely hit by hailstorm, said the department was in the process of assessing the actual loss by conducting a survey of areas where crop had been completely damaged.
Unexpected rains accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds have caused extensive damage to wheat crop in several villages in Patiala, Ludhiana, Khanna and Raikot.
According to an agricultural officer, crop in over 13,000 acres of land in Patiala alone has been completely ruined by hailstorm.
Meanwhile, Bhartiya Kisan Union, a farmers organization has sought immediate compensation of crop loss to farmers. “The state government, after assessing the actual loss of wheat crop, should compensate the farmer with Rs900 a quintal,” Ajmer Lakhiwal, president, BKU (Punjab) said here.