HYDERABAD: A sudden spell of heavy unseasonal rainfall and thunderstorms across Telangana during April 20-22 has resulted in serious damage to crops in different districts.

Officials from the state agriculture department said paddy crop sown across 2,826 hectares has been damaged due to the rains, and an assessment is currently being undertaken to find out the extent of loss that farmers have suffered.

“Usually summer witnesses some rainfall, and this kind of unseasonal rain has caused crop damage this time primarily to the paddy crop. But there has also been some damage to maize crops as well," said a senior official with the state agriculture department.

According to data provided by the department, damage to the paddy crop was reported in the districts of Nirmal, Jangaon, Nalgonda, Medchal and Pedapalli.

Besides paddy, maize crop across 51 hectares and sesasum sown across 140 hectares have also suffered damages.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Telangana witnessed thunderstorms at isolated places over the last few days, with minimum temperature falling 1.6-3.0 degrees Celsius below normal during the period.

Last year, an attack by the fall armyworm pest destroyed 17,000 hectares of maize crop of the total 4.6 lakh hectares cultivated area in the state.

A spate of unseasonal rains in October 2017 ravaged close to 98,000 hectares of sown land in Telangana, leaving crops of about 1,13,000 farmers damaged.

“The state government giving farmers input subsidies will only help us if there is no disturbance like this. But when there are unseasonal rains, it not only spoils our crop, but once again creates a debt circle due to the monetary loss for us. There needs to be some sort of government intervention to tackle this," said 56-year old B. Malla Reddy, a paddy farmer from Medchal district, whose crop was damaged due to the unseasonal rains during April 20-23.

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