Khurda: Khurda district has recorded 46% less rainfall than normal during the June-July period this year. A local environmentalist Dhaneswar Bidhar has apprehended serious drought-like situation in Khurda district in the absence of adequate rainfall and has warned of severe consequences to farmers’ livelihoods.
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There was scanty rainfall in June and July which has failed to propel farming activities in the district this Kharif season. Local farmers were hit by problems of selling their produce during the lockdowns. On top of that ,scanty rainfall has now become added to their woes.
On being contacted, the district agriculture officer (DAO) Bhaskar Barik said, “All arrangements have been made to timely provide seeds, fertilisers, pesticides to the farmers in Khurda district, for cultivation of Kharif crops. There is provision to include 67,000 farmers in the district under insurance coverage of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), against crop loss during natural disasters”.
State agriculture department has given emphasis on lane-planting of paddy seedlings on 600 hectares of farmland and cultivation of Dhanicha on 230 hectares of farmland in the district. It has also aimed to cultivate other non-paddy crops on 42.27 hectare of farmlands.
The department has given emphasis to Jalanidhi Yojana and solar power for lift irrigation of Kharif crops during FY 2020-21 but scanty rainfall has played spoilsport in the district’s plans to propel farming.