Aurangabad : Harsh weather conditions ruined pomegranate harvest in Maharashtra, landing farmers in huge losses.

The extreme cold in Aurangabad district has cracked open the fruit, rued farmers on Tuesday.

A farmer, Krushuttam Pawar, said that he expected to earn at least rupees 400,000 (6,025.96 USD) this season. But with a major part of his pomegranate harvest destroyed, he stared at debts.

“Due to cold weather conditions most of the pomegranates have cracked open and damaged because of which now I will not even get rupees 100,000 (1,506.55 USD),” Pawar said.

Apart from pomegranate, other fruits like grapes and bananas are also bearing the brunt of the winter season in the state.

President of a local farmers’ association Jayajirao Suryawanshi said that erratic weather conditions in Maharashtra have often led farmers into loss.

“The weather has changed since past four days with cold winds blowing and temperatures falling to below 6 degrees due to which fruits like pomegranates, banana, and grapes have damaged,” said Suryawanshi.

For India’s nearly 200 million marginal farmers, many of whom borrow heavily to cultivate plots smaller than two acres, the fate of one crop can make the difference between life and death.