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MISCELLANY

Hailstorm damages crops in Morang



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By Our Correspondent, Urlabari, Apr. 16: Hailstorm coupled with strong winds of Thursday night caused an extensive damage to vegetables and fruits planted by farmers in northern Morang.

The hailstorm that fell for about an hour destroyed the crops at Ratuwamai, Urlabari and Letang municipalities, causing a loss of millions of rupees. 

According to the affected farmers, they lost millions of rupees after the hailstorm destroyed the paddy, maize, cucumber, tomato and chilli grown by the farmers of Ratuwamai Municiplaity-9.

Manager of the Agricultural Cooperative of Ratuwamai Municipality-9 Suresh Gautam said that they were also collecting details of the damages caused by the hailstorm.

He said that the details of the damages would be collected and submitted to the Agriculture Section of Ratuwamai Municipality and Agriculture Development Directorate, Biratnagar.

Agriculture farm operated by the Itahara Youth Agro Group Pvt. Ltd in Bhowdaha of Ratuwamai Municipality has also suffered a huge loss.

The hailstorm has destroyed watermelon and okra grown in around one bigha of land and mustard green planted in two katthas and tomatoes in five katthas of land.

The group has been cultivating vegetables and fruit applying the Israeli mulching technology. Local youths have engaged collective farming.

Chairman of the group Prakash Karki said that they faced a loss of around of Rs. 1.5 million due to hailstones and strong winds.

Tej Prasad Bhandari, a member of the group, said that the hailstorm caused severe damage to the crops.

Bhandari said that they had faced a huge loss as they were unable to insure the crops in the insurance company-- Sanima General Insurance Company, which has taken the responsibility of insuring crops in Morang. He said the company did not pay attention to insure crops despite repeated requests.

Maize cultivated in around 100 bighas of land by the farmers of Sunjoda Triveni Tole of Urlabari-2 has also been destroyed.

According to one local, Khagendra Bhandari, maize planted by Kuber Khadka and Ram Bahadur Limbu has been damaged.

Meanwhile, the hailstorm has also caused severe damage to crops in Kheruwa of Letang-5.

Local Bhawani Prasad Acharya said that bananas, vegetables and maize crops were damaged.

According to Bhum Magar, ward chairman of Letang Municiplaity-5, they were collecting the details of the damages in all the wards of the municipality.