Bolangir: Drought after drought has already broken the economic backbone of farmers in Bolangir district. This year too, farmers in the district are apprehensive of another spell of drought for want of rains in June and July.
Weather experts had predicted good rains towards the end of June and in July, but all predictions went wrong, leaving farming community hopeless.
The average rainfall in the district is supposed to be 202.8 mm in June, but the district has recorded only 123.30 mm rainfall.
Despite erratic rainfall, farmers have cultivated paddy in 80,000 hectares in 14 blocks with hope that June and July will see good rainfall to sustain the plants.
Twenty days of July have passed, but paddy plants in 80,000 hectares have started wilting. In July, some places have received poor rainfall. Situation in all 14 blocks has been grim.
Some farmers said, ”Paddy plants are in stress for lack of water. We have raised saplings for transplantation. But protecting the saplings has been too difficult.”
Bidighat area under Sadar block witnessed blight of sprouts. Such situation has left the farmers worried.
”The government makes tall claims about doing all possible help to farmers and agriculture while there has been no irrigation in most areas. Affected farmers fail to get crop insurance. Farmers whose crops had been affected by Phailin, Hudhud and Titli have not yet received their financial assistance declared by the government,” lamented Sudhir Parichaa, president of the Zilla Krushak Mahasangh.
He added that the government is doing nothing on the irrigation front, but only playing with interests of the farmers in the name of crop insurance.