SAMBALPUR: Farmers of Western Odisha are staring at a drought like situation with the rain playing truant. The region has received less than 50 per cent (pc) rainfall in June and even this month, the rain pattern has been weak.
Although low pressure induced rain in Western Odisha for a few days, it was scattered and not sufficient for agriculture.
According to official reports, Sambalpur received 74.37 mm rainfall in June against the normal of 221 mm. In Bargarh, against the normal rainfall of 205.6 mm, the district received 93.75, while Balangir got just 70.48 mm against normal rainfall of 202.8 mm.
The situation at Jharsuguda was slightly better as it got 104 mm rain against the normal of 218.8. Similarly, Sonepur received the lowest rainfall of 68.50 mm against normal of 217.4, Deogarh 114.47 against 242.4 mm and Nuapada received highest rainfall of 138.08 mm against normal of 210.3 mm.
Till July 15, while Sambalpur received 130.09 mm of rainfall against normal of 429.5, the figures in the other districts were not impressive. At many places, large tracts of cultivable land are lying unused with farmers waiting for adequate rain to start cultivation. And at places where farmers had gone for broadcasting after the first spell of rain, they are now trying hard to save their crops.
Normally, farmers begin cultivation in the second week of June in rain-fed areas. However, with the region getting less than 50 per cent rainfall in June and that too scattered, farmers are left in the lurch. At areas where there are no irrigation facilities, the situation is worse.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sambalpur, Ashok Mohanty, said broadcasting in Sambalpur district is almost over. He admitted the paddy saplings transplantation has been delayed due to the rain, but hoped that the situation would improve soon.