The deficit rainfall has resulted in delayed planting of several kharif crops, including paddy in Koraput district. Only 40 per cent of the crops in the district have been cultivated till date in the kharif season. The 25 per cent deficit rainfall this season has also reduced the total acreage in the district.
As per reports, monsoon reached the district in June third week and was regular only towards the second week of July. As a result, sowing of seeds for kharif crops began only in the third week of June, a six-week delay which is more than the previous year.
Against the normal one lakh acres of paddy being cultivated during kharif every year, this time only 40,000 acres have been brought under cultivation till date. Officials said the remaining area can be cultivated only if rain is regular till August.
What worries the farmers most is that there isn’t enough water in the Upper Kolab irrigation project, the main source of irrigation water.
Absence of rain in the catchment areas of the dam for the last two months has resulted in low water level in the reservoir. At present, water level in the reservoir is at 846.7 metre, two metre less than last year. Supply of water for irrigation would be normal only if the water level in the reservoir reaches 848 metres. Sources said this had been the lowest water level in the reservoir in the last one decade.