Rain whammy for Bhubaneswar farmers in times of coronavirus

Unseasonal rains in many districts have come as double whammy for farmers facing untold hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Published: 26th April 2020 12:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2020 12:03 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers, Agriculture

For representational purposes. (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Unseasonal rains in many districts have come as double whammy for farmers facing untold hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown. Coming at a time, when farmers are engaged in harvesting of rabi crops including summer paddy, pulses and groundnuts, rains accompanied by whirlwind have caused extensive damage to the produce in as many as 19 districts.

“I had grown moong on 100 acres. Half of the harvested crop is lying on the field due to lack of labourers and transport. Now, this untimely rain has come as another assault as the grains will be discoloured and will not meet the fair average quality (FAQ) norms to sell to the Odisha State Seeds Corporation,” said Dillip Baral, a progressive farmer of Resinga village in Puri district.

Around 3000 acres of land in Gop and Nimapara blocks of the district are covered under hybrid paddy seeds (VNR seed) this season. Ready for harvest, the standing crops are severely affected by lodging due to the rains and thunderstorm. “This year is a curse for me. I have left everything to God,” said Samar Singh, another farmer of Gop block.

Singh has grown hybrid (VNR) seed paddy over three acres of land. Lodging of the crop will not only affect yield but also will damage the grain quality. He had a bumper harvest of 50 tonne of pumpkin ths summer. The lockdown played a cruel joke on him. While more than half of the yield got damaged in heat, Singh is still in search of buyers for the remaining stock.

Apart from summer paddy, moong, biri (black gram) and ground nuts are the major crops during rabi season. Groundnuts are ready for harvest but the rains have cast a shadow on the crop yield, official sources said. Large number of Puri farmers who have grown summer paddy, pulses and other rabi crops under BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India), a highly incentivised crop programme, are staring at huge loss.


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