Farmers lose sleep over scant rainfall

Khaira, July 13: By this time of the year, about 40 per cent of agriculture work including tilling of land and sapling transplantation should have been completed. But farmers in this block of Balasore district have not been able to do so due to deficit rain, a report said.

Under these circumstances, farmers are spending sleepless nights even as the spectre of drought haunts them.  

Farmers say by this time, their farmlands should been full of water with paddy sapling fully grown, but the farms are lying dry.

The weak monsoon has left them in the lurch while their farmlands have turned into grazing grounds for cattle, it was learnt.

According to reports, about 80 per cent of the farmland in this block depends on monsoon. Last year, the area had recorded a rainfall of 244 mm in June and 119 mm in July.

This year, the area has recorded only 35 mm rainfall in June and 14 mm till July 11. The scant rainfall has reportedly dashed the hopes of farmers for a better paddy production. They have started fearing for a possible drought-like situation.

According to sources in the agriculture department, paddy is cultivated in 21,000 hectares of land in Khaira. Cultivation is done primarily through sapling transplantation.

In case of cultivation by sowing seeds, about 50 per cent of paddy seeds are arranged by farmers themselves while the remaining is supplied through authorised agencies, the sources said.

The agriculture department has allowed 14 cooperative societies to lift 795 quintals of paddy seeds for supply in the first phase, but only 11 of them have lifted 310 quintals of seeds.

It was learnt that as there is insufficient rainfall, all these cooperative societies have not been able to supply their seeds as yet.

Given the scant rainfall, farmers demand supply of seeds meant for short duration harvesting.

Members of Dungura Krushak Sangh, a farmers’ outfit, said government should make provision of seeds, which can be yielded in short periods. PNN

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