SAMBALPUR: With the district receiving about 41.95 per cent less rainfall in August, agricultural activities for paddy crop during the current kharif season have been affected. The district received 256.80 mm rainfall in the month against the normal 442.4 mm.
Of nine blocks in the district, Bamra received the highest rainfall of 502.50 mm while Jujumura registered the lowest at 133 mm in August. Similarly, Dhankauda block received 316.60 mm, Kuchinda 266.80 mm, Maneswar 266.10 mm, Rengali 244.40 mm, Naktideul block 229.60 mm, Rairakhol 193 mm and Jamankira block recorded 159.20 mm rain. The district had received 391.58 mm rainfall in July against the normal of 429.5 mm. In June, it had received 276.44 mm rain against the normal of 221 mm.
Though the district received less showers in July, excess rainfall in June had helped farmers carry out agricultural activities. However, scanty rainfall in August again hit farming in the district.
As per the available data till August 31, intercultural operation (beusan) could not be undertaken over 2,340 hectares (ha) of land due to insufficient rainfall. Intercultural operation has only be completed over 40,294 ha against the target of 43,079 ha.
However, transplantation of paddy seedlings has surpassed the target. Paddy transplantation has been undertaken over 63,779 ha against the target of 63,721 ha. The Agriculture department had set a target to cultivate paddy over 1,06,800 ha during the current kharif season.
Under the non-paddy crops, pulses have been cultivated over 25,897 ha till August 31 against the target of 35,800 ha.
Besides, oilseeds have been cultivated over 2,130 ha against the target of 14,610 ha while condiments have been grown over 5,835 ha against the target of 7,210 ha.
Moreover, vegetable has been cultivated over 15,945 hectares against the target of 26,480 hectares.
Cultivation of some varieties of pulses, oilseeds and condiments start in September.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sambalpur Pradosh Kumar Samal admitted that scanty rainfall in August has affected agricultural activities for paddy crop. He, however, said there is no drought-like situation in the district and the situation is under control. If it does not rain in September, the paddy crop will be affected, he added.