JEYPORE: Rains on Thursday night brought some relief to the farmers of Jeypore who have been facing water scarcity for their paddy crop.
Three hours of rain in the night has improved the field situation to some extent. In the absence of irrigation and adequate rain, crops in over 20,000 hectares (ha) of land were on the verge of drying up.
Authorities of Upper Kolab project had decided to supply irrigation water in Jeypore, Borrigumma, Kotpad and Kundra command areas for the kharif crop season that began in June. After being assured of irrigation water, farmers cultivated 45,000 ha in the ayecut areas. The authorities had decided to release water till October-end in nine distributary systems spreading across the four command areas.
However, water supply slowed down and rains stopped in the last fortnight, posing threat to paddy crops which are in flowering stage now. Irrigation water from the project failed to reach agriculture land as canals in minor and sub-canal systems under Jeypore and Borigumma Kolab irrigation division have been damaged and silted in the recent heavy rains, thereby blocking water passage. Sans water, crops in Kundra, Ghatbagara, Patraput, Solpa, Dhanpur, Nuagam, Batasana, Sosahandi, Borrigumma and Kusumi areas have started withering.
Farmers informed that all the pockets of Jeypore sub-division got rains and it improved the crop condition.
Meanwhile, paddy procurement for the kharif marketing season began in the district on Friday. A paddy procurement mandi was opened at Kusumi under Kotpad block on Friday and in the next few days, 107 mandis will be opened in both Koraput and Jeypore sub-division for procurement of paddy.
Registered farmers can sell their produce directly to primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) in the mandis.
The procured paddy will be provided by PACS to millers for custom milling. However, millers of Koraput district are yet to sign agreement with the District Civil Supply Office over certain demands.
The millers have demanded that the State Civil Supply Corporation should provide them gunny bags to stock paddy in the mandis after procurement, facilities to transport procured paddy from mandis to milling points and clearance of their dues by the district civil supply office, among other things.
The Corporation is expected to procure over 20 lakh quintal of paddy from farmers through PACS and give it to millers.
On Monday, members of Koraput Millers Association had submitted a memorandum in this regard to the district administration and since the demands have not been fulfilled, they did not sign the custom milling agreement.
After being assured of irrigation water, farmers cultivated 45,000 ha in the ayecut areas
In the absence of irrigation water and rain, crops in over 20,000 hectares of land were on the verge of drying up
Water supply from Upper Kolab project had slowed down in the last fortnight
Siltation and damages blocked water flow in canals to crop lands at