Patna/Champua/Telkoi/Dhankikote: Unseasonal rains induced by cyclonic storm Phethai played spoiler for paddy in Keonjhar, Bhadrak and some other areas in north Odisha at a time when harvesting of the crops was in full swing.
With paddy crop either lying on farmland or stacked on yards getting soaked, hopes of thousands of farmers have vanished into this air.
Though rain has stopped for last few hours, farmland has been wet, leaving no chance for the wet paddy to dry as the weather still continued to be cloudy and chilly Wednesday.
The main apprehension of farmers is that the rain-soaked paddy would germinate in a few days unless they are exposed to sun and the weather becomes dry.
According to Keonjhar district emergency officer Suranjika Behera, Champua block has recorded 88.6 mm rainfall, Jhumpura 81.8 mm rainfall, Joda 81.2 mm rainfall, Keonjhar 72.6 mm rainfall, Patna 37.1 mm rainfall, Bansapal 08.2 mm rainfall.
Though weather scientist of Keonjhar meteorological centre Dr Kishore Chandra Sahu said the weather will change after Wednesday, the possibility of paddy being sprouted cannot be ruled out by farmers.
Farmers in Sunapasi, Kodagadia, Jamudalak, Bhanda, Karia, Sarei, Badanai panchayats under Champua block were worried and have been scrambling to retrieve the rain-soaked paddy from the farmland.
They lamented that they had hoped for good harvest, but rain spoiled their hopes. “Loss will be huge. Stacked paddy was also soaked. Though the government has built paddy yards in panchayats, these yards are not enough to meet the storage needs of farmers.
Tribals famers in Telkoi block have been facing a harrowing time after paddy got soaked in rain. Paddy bundles are lying soaked in water-logged farmlands in the area.
“We had cultivated paddy by taking loans from bank and private money lenders. Rain has wiped out all our hopes and investments. What we will do now. It has broken our economic backbone,” rued farmer leader Pranaballabh Nayak.
Other famers like Pramod Pradhan, Anukul Biswal, Anil Patra, Kailash Pradhan, Laxmidhar Pradhan and Indrasen Pradhan demanded immediate assessment of crop loss by the agriculture department.
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