With monsoon showing signs of improvement, farming activities in most of 17 blocks in the rain-fed Sundargarh district are picking up momentum.
While the agriculture officials claim that the situation is favourable and there is smooth supply of seeds and fertiliser, the farmers in various pockets complain of not getting seeds of their choice.
Reports stated that against the normal rainfall of 237.4 mm in June, the district till Wednesday received an average rainfall of 142 mm as three blocks experienced scanty rainfall while six others received moderate rainfall. However, agriculture experts said less rainfall in June is not an issue as less water is required during pre-positioning of paddy crop on high and medium land.
While Kuanrmunda, Bisra and Lathikata blocks till Wednesday received 54 mm or less rain, Balishankara, Kutra Lefirpara, Tangarpali, Koida and Sundargarh Sadar blocks received 163 mm to 196 mm. Hemgir, Subdega, Rajgangpur, Bonai, Lahunipara, Gurundia, and Nuagaon blocks received between 116 mm to 146 mm.
Dileswar Majhi, a farmer of Lathikata block said, “Some pockets like Balanda are now witnessing ploughing of paddy fields due to delayed rain while in other pockets like Dandiapali and Garjan seed sowing has been completed.”
Majhi added that the short duration seeds are easily available, but there is shortage of long duration seed varieties like Swarna, Pratikha, Naveen and Khandagiri.
Nuagaon farmer Gajendra Sahu though complained of the shortage of long duration seeds, he said the farmers in the block are hopeful of a good harvest.
Deputy Director for Agriculture Narendra Behera said, “In most of the blocks, farming activities are in full swing while in three to four blocks agriculture works are going slow.” So far, 17,500 quintals of seeds have been supplied.
The district has a stock of 1,200 quintals against the total seed supply of around 18,000 quintals last year. He said the district has fertiliser stock of 7,050 tonnes against this year’s target of 31,300 tonnes.