Last week, the National Capital welcomed with open arms a refreshing rain shower. While Delhi-NCR revered in a much-needed drop in temperature, vendors and wholesalers at NCR’s Sohna Mandi, a sprawling grain market-cum-warehouse near Gurgaon, had a different ordeal knocking at their doorstep. Due to the sudden rain, a whopping 400-500 quintals of food grain and oilseeds stored in the open were destroyed, as they got completely drenched in water. The grains were kept in the open as they were supposed to be transported to the corporation’s warehouse.
The complete loss of the situation will be borne by the respective buyers as the crop had already been purchased from the farmers. As per current norms, while the Haryana warehouse corporation buys wheat, mustard is procured by the Haryana state cooperative supply and marketing Federation limited (Hafed) to press for oil sold under their eponymous brand. “We were able to contain damage during Friday’s rains, by placing tarpaulin sheets on the stock. But on Monday, it rained early and took us by surprise,” SDM (Sohna) Satish Yadav, whose office is next to the mandi, was quoted by The Times of India.
But the problem does not end there. Following the rains, farmers who were scheduled to bring their produce to the Sohna Mandi for sale, as well as mustard farmers who had already arrived, have been put on hold as there is not enough storage space in the mandi as Gurgaon is not an agricultural district. “Warehouse Corporation has been asked to transport the grain to their storage as soon as possible. If it remains clear on Tuesday, they can even get it dried before storing it,” District food and supply controller Ram Avtar told TOI.
Although later in the day, mustard farmers got some relief as SDM Yadav announced that mustard acquisition will go on as scheduled, wheat farmers were asked to dry their grains before selling. Wheat farmers from Haryana are worried about the losses that they’ll incur if the showers continue.
According to Delhi-NCR’s weather forecast, more rain is predicted over the next few days. This inevitably means that the Sohna Mandi, and many other markets like it, could likely face huge losses.