BALASORE: Incessant rain for the last three days cheered up the farming community in the district which apprehended possible drought till last week. Now, the farmers have resumed their farming activities briskly.
The farmers were found ploughing the farm field, weeding out wild grasses and preparing for paddy saplings. The sowing activity was registered only in 10 per cent of farming area by end of last month.
Although the district received rain in the last week of May, it was not the same case in June considered as pick time for farming activities which upset the farmers who were waiting to sow seeds and transplant saplings.
However, the rain triggered by a low pressure has raised the hope among the farmers. The district received total rainfall of 620 mm in two days.
Official sources said Soro block received highest 160 mm rainfall, Balasore Sadar 73 mm, Oupada 74 mm, Jaleswar 59 mm, Bhogarai 55 mm, Khaira 53 mm, Remuna 43 mm, Basta 32 mm, Bahanaga 21 mm, Simulia 18 mm and Baliapal and Nilagiri 16 mm each.
Balasore is one of three districts besides Nabarangpur and Koraput which received normal rainfall.
Other districts in the State have so far received 56 per cent less than normal rainfall. Of around 2.69 lakh hectares (ha) of agricultural land in the coastal district, kharif crop is cultivated in 2,20,830 ha and rabi in 1.01 lakh ha. Most of the farm fields in the district depend on rain and only 55,000 ha have irrigation facilities.
So far, seeds have been sown only in 5,000 ha. According to Agriculture officials, this year, the district so far registered an average rainfall, which is not sufficient to fill up the water bodies. The farming activities for kharif crop were delayed due to lack of adequate rainfall in June.
A farmer Kulamani Behera said the recent rain has given a boost to farm activities. “Although rain has been delayed, we can expect good yield if it continues to rain in the middle of the kharif season,” he said.
With the weather officials indicating more rain, the farmers and agriculture officials are hopeful of a good harvest.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Gangadhar Pal said the farmers in rain-fed areas of the district can go for cultivating high yield and short duration paddy crop.