Crop losses due to excess rainfall during the monsoon season this year have forced some farmers in Vihamandva area here in Maharashtra to postpone the marriages of their daughters.
Rains subsided in the area about a fortnight back, but farmers are still unable to enter their inundated fields and they have expressed apprehensions that the sowing of Rabi crops will now get delayed.
Vihamandva circle, located about 80 km from the Aurangabad district headquarters on north side of the Godavari river in Paithan tehsil, which was till now a drought-prone area, received 241.9 per cent rain this year.
As against the average expected rainfall of 564.6 mm, the area recorded 1,365.9 mm downpour, according to the revenue department.
Farmers were expecting good yield of crops like soyabean, cotton and pigeon pea, but there was excessive downpour last month when the crops were almost ready to be harvested.
A number of cultivators are now facing financial woes due to crop damage following the rains.
Vishwas Gabhud, a resident of Gabhud Vasti near Vihamandva circle, told PTI that about two to three inches of the upper soil layer on his farm has been washed away due to excess rains.
The condition is so bad that even bullocks or tractors cannot be engaged to plough the fields.
"My daughter's marriage was fixed, but I have no funds now to arrange for the wedding function. My relatives are asking me not to hold a big ceremony, but we have to at least wear new clothes, which I can't afforded now," he said.
The distraught farmer said his woes have been unending as earlier had to shell out a big sum of money for the treatment of his son after he contracted the coronavirus infection.
"Now, we can only hope to remain alive. I don't even have money to travel to the nearby government offices to seek help," he said.
Gabhud said he cannot even spare Rs 200 to buy petrol for his motorbike to travel even for essential work.
"The crop loss would have still been bearable had it happened during the early months of the monsoon. I spent money for growing the crops to sell them in the market, but the recent rains washed away everything," he rued.
Vilas Thombre, a farmer from Saal Vadgaon in Vihamandva owns about six acres of land.
He had enrolled his daughter at a polytechnic institute here for a vocational course.
"I was planning to find a suitable match for her and arrange for her wedding this year. But, now, I don't think it will be possible this year and I have lost crops on nearly five acres of my land," Thombre said.
Nandu Argade, a farmer from Khandala village near Vihamandva, said the soil on his farm has got washed away because of continuous water-logging.
"I had cultivated pigeon pea and other crops on two acres of land each, but there is nothing left now. I am not sure when I will be able to sow for the next Rabi season. We usually start sowing by October-end every year. This time, it may start only by November-end," he said.
Talking to PTI, Paithan tehsildar Chandrakant Shelke said they are still not able to comprehend how the area received such high rainfall.
"This used to be a drought-prone area and we would have to deploy water tankers here. There is no history of excess rainfall here," he said.
Paithan tehsil's agriculture officer Vishal Salve said the excess rainfall has damaged almost all the crops in the area.
Trees in the area will survive, but there his hardly any possibility of fruit yield, he said.