Rupsa: With the monsoon inactive till date, scanty rainfall has fuelled fears of drought among farmers in Rupsa and Basta areas of Balasore.
With three-fourths of July month are already over there has not been sufficient rainfall to push agricultural activities in the block. Farmers said all farming activities have hampered where there is no water in the farmland.
In Basta block, 16,843 hectares have been left uncultivated for want of rain. Large tracts of farmlands have not been tilled in Kasipada, Rupsa, Anke, Haladipada, Chhanaua, Bahabalpur, Srirampur, Rasalpur, Sartha, Kasaphala panchayats under Balasore block, Gadapada, Routpada, Mathanai, Dudhahanasa, Baharda, Tadda, Punsakuli panchayats.
For want of rain, the paddy saplings have been blighted. The farming community in the area is deeply worried while the farm land has cracked.
Assistant Block Agriculture Officer Somnath Rana said that 20,169 hectares of land in 31 panchayats under Basta block are cultivable. Of them, 12,248 hectares are irrigated while 7,921 hectares not irrigated.
Of 18,939 hectares suitable for paddy cultivation, sowing and sapling transplantation operations have been completed in only 224 hectares. Saplings have been raised for 1872 hectares while 16,843 hectares have not been cultivated for want of water, he added.
It is learnt that paddy saplings, either sown, or transplanted, have started wilting due to shortage of water.
Five hundred farmers had been provided 80 quintals of paddy free of cost for 200 hectares in Sahada, Idida and Naikudi panchayats.
Rana said that Basta block has received only 105 mm rainfall against required 253 mm in June and 127 mm against required 259 mm in July. If the paddy cultivation is hit, there has been provision for compensation, he added.
The farmers who have not taken loans are required to include themselves in crop insurance schemes by registering at the agriculture office or at the Common Service Centre by July 31 while the department is raising awareness on Pradhan Mantri Phasal Bima Yojana across the district, he added.