ROURKELA: The agriculture activities in Sundargarh district have gained pace after a delayed start due to weak and erratic monsoon. Barring about 2,000 hectares (ha), there is no major threat to paddy crops in the rain-fed district while sporadic rainfall has proved to be a boon for non-paddy crops.
The district, with vast upland, is most suitable for non-paddy crops, but farmers traditionally give priority to paddy crops.
The farmers were spending tense moments as deficit rainfall in June, July and August delayed first and second phase of paddy cultivation operations. Though sporadic rainfall improved the situation in the affected blocks, broadcasting and transplantation were considerably delayed.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) R N Satpathy said paddy crop on about 2,000 ha in Tangarpali, Sundargarh, Hemgir and Lefripara blocks are likely to be affected due to inadequate rainfall but there is no threat to paddy crops on remaining 2.11 lakh ha with good rainfall in August improving the situation. Amid favourable condition, cultivation of non-paddy crops, which requires less rainfall, is going on in full swing.
Agriculture authorities have planned non-paddy crops on one lakh ha of upland and paddy crops on 2.13 lakh ha. Accordingly, 17,400 ha have been planned for pulses, including 7,500 ha for ‘arhar’ and 5,500 ha for ‘moong’. While 6,000 ha and 17,400 ha are planned for cow-pea and ‘black gram’ respectively, a total of 23,780 ha are earmarked for oilseeds, including 19,880 ha for sesame and 3,800 ha for groundnut. About 12,600 ha are earmarked for cereals and millets, including 8,000 ha for maize and 22,460 ha for vegetable crops and rest for fibre crops like ‘mesta’ and sun-hemp.
The DDA said so far 60 per cent area has been covered under non-paddy crops.
District Agriculture Officer (DAO), Panposh, R K Mangal said about 75 acres have been covered under non-paddy crops in Nuagaon, Bisra, Kuanrmunda and Lathikata blocks of Panposh sub-division.