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India: Heavy rain and hail a repeat blow to Bengal’s potato farmers

The unseasonal rain for the last five days has wreaked havoc on the potato farmers in Bengal.

As reported by several farmers from Hooghly, East Burdwan, Bankura, and West Midnapore, a vast area in their potato fields have been devastated by waterlogging caused by the rains since 24 February.

This has happened just as the potato-growing farmers in these districts had started harvesting. The harvesting was to be completed by mid-March.

The farmers are almost certain that due to being waterlogged for five-days in a row, the yet-to-be-harvested potatoes have got rotten under the soil. Adding to the woes, hail have damaged the potato plants that are still young.

The tragedy is that the potato farmers in Bengal are facing such a blow for the second consecutive year. In the last season, they suffered losses due to a bumper harvest that led to a drastic fall in the price of potato.

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