ASKA: Farmers of Ganjam heaved a sigh of relief when they found out on Thursday morning that Titli had spared their crops. A few hours later though, things changed for worse. Their hopes for a good yield were dashed when heavy rains led to floods and water from swollen rivers entered vast swathes of agricultural lands, inundating standing crops.
“I do not know how will I repay the loan I took from my village society. I also have a family to feed,” said a distressed farmer from Khadabhaga village, Amulya Bisoyi while showing his inundated agriculture land on Saturday. He had taken `35,000 loan for cultivating paddy and vegetables following forecast of good monsoon this year. “Till Wednesday, I was hopeful of a good yield,” said Amulya, who had cultivated paddy in one acre and vegetables in another half acre of land.
Flood water from Rushikulya entered paddy and vegetable fields on Thursday night. Amulya is not alone. Farmers, who had agriculture lands along the swollen Rushikulya and Bada Nadi, are now under stress as their crops are waterlogged. Santosh Nahak, another farmer from Aska who had taken `20,000 loan from a cooperative society for cultivating paddy in three acres of land, is also worried as there is no hope of yield this year.
“This is the second time since last year that we are bearing the brunt of crop loss,” Santosh said, adding that last year farmers had sustained huge crop loss due to pest attack for which they have not received any compensation yet. His friend Satrughna Patra, who has sustained crop loss in around 20 acres of land, said they are hardly getting any input subsidy for the loss they suffer in cultivation. The large scale loss in agriculture is the main reason behind distress migration in Ganjam, he said.
“Frustrated by the loss he suffered in farming, my brother Gopal Patra migrated to Gujarat last year in search of work. I will have to do the same if I do not get adequate support from the government,” Satrughna said. Farmers said the Government should immediately come forward to help them. Preliminary reports from the office of Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) suggest that crops in more than 56,000 hectares have been damaged in the Ganjam floods.