Bahanaga: Several panchayats under Bahanage block in Balasore district have reported severe crop loss due to heavy rainfall due to Bulbul.
Meanwhile, the agriculture department has started its preliminary assessment of crop damage while the Collector has directed the agriculture department to submit the report by November 18.
Paddy was cultivated in 18,108 hectares in 24 panchayats. Strong winds flattened paddy plants in waterlogged farmlands. “Paddy plants are under water when plants had just crossed the flowering stage while water fails to drain out,” farmers added.
A preliminary survey of the agriculture department said that only 35 per cent of the paddy was affected. Paddy in 3,000 hectares out of a total of 18, 108 hectares have been lost in the rain and winds.
The report said, 10 to 20 per cent of paddy in 174 villages under 24 panchayats was damaged. The department has carried out a survey in Pandasuni, Baripada, Gopalpur and Chittal panchayats.
The district administration has laid stress on hastening assessment of the crop loss and submits the report by November 18.
Bhaskar Das (Balikiran), Purnachandra Jena (Karanjabindha) and other farmers lamented that as immature paddy has remained soaked in rainwater, there is no hope for harvest.
“We have borrowed from private lenders and taken loans from banks and raised the paddy, but in such condition, we are worried how to pay off our loans and manage our families,” they rued.
“Given the condition of the farmlands, it is impossible to retrieve paddy this year,” they added.
Assistant agriculture officer Ranganath Patra said, 35 per cent of paddy was found to be damaged in the block.
“RIs and VLWs will again carry out a joint survey and exact extent of damage will be known,” he added.