Sambalpur: Farmers in this district found themselves on the edge after a thunderstorm destroyed their cultivation over 300 hectares, Saturday night.
The storm lashed areas in Maneswar tehsil. Hundreds of farmers suffered crop loss in the storm. Similar reports of crop loss have also emerged from Themra, Sindurpanka, Dandeipali, Kutatanuanpali and Tabla areas in the district.
The farmers alleged that they are facing crop loss every year but have failed to get their insurance money as their areas do not come under irrigated zone. The crop loss has hit them hard.
The farmers alleged that unseasonal rainfall first delayed the cultivation. Later, the COVID-19-induced lockdown and subsequent restrictions further delayed cultivation. As a result, they were forced to spend more from their pockets due to unavailability of labourers.
They had managed to save their crops from pest attacks when Saturday’s thunderstorm destroyed their cultivation.
Farmers said the storm came at a time when their paddy crops were in flowering stage or nearing harvest. The paddy plants are lying on the ground and very soon these will rot after coming in contact with pest, soil and water.
When contacted, chief district agricultural officer Santosh Ray said a special team from the agriculture department will visit the affected villages and prepare a report on the crop loss after discussing with the farmers. Compensation will be given to the farmers as per government rules.