SAMBALPUR: Even as Western Odisha, frequented by drought for the last few years, is looking forward to bumper harvest this kharif season, crop loss due to lack of adequate rainfall during growing and maturing stage of plants has been reported from a few pockets of the region.
While during the initial stage of monsoon there was deficit rainfall in the region, it was supplemented by heavy rain at a later stage. Subsequently the monsoon became weak and there was virtually no rain during the flowering stage of the crop that led to pest attack and moisture stressed condition. Even as farmers of the affected areas lost hope of any yield, district agriculture officials ruled out drought-like condition.
Reports from Bamra block in Sambalpur district state that paddy yield will be affected with the block receiving scattered rain when it was most required during growing stage. Farmers alleged that it is difficult for them to regain even the labour cost.
They said while the farm fields have developed cracks, lack of adequate water during flowering stage of paddy led to moisture stress condition in plant’s cells and subsequent damage to the crop. In Parmanpur village under Pindapathar panchayat of the block, the farmers have let their cattle to graze in paddy fields as they have lost hope of any yield.
Padampur BJP MLA Pradip Purohit claimed that moisture stress condition has also been reported from Hirapur, Kechodadar, Cheliamal, Mandiadhipa, Baidpali, Bhenrajpur villages under Paikmal block of Bargarh district. Purohit said he has asked the Tehsildar to submit a report on the situation so that farmers can get relief in time. He said he would write to the Collector and the Chief Minister on the issue urging them to compensate the farmers.
Similar reports have been received from Baliposhi, Kanchada, Budibahal, Chakuliain, Purukunda, Rambhae, Dantaribahal and Kantapali villages under Barkote block of Deogarh district.
However, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sambalpur, Ashok Kumar Mohanty said there are some complaints of moisture stress condition from highland areas. But overall crop production would be good and denied drought condition in the district. He further said the crop is almost ready to harvest and his office has not received any report of crop loss.
Admitting stray cases of drought-like situation in some pockets across 14 blocks of the district, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Balangir, Manoranjan Mallick said it should not be construed as drought as majority of areas would have bumper harvest.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Nuapada, Antaryami Mandal informed that paddy has been cultivated over 82,000 hectares of land and the crop has done exceedingly well in the district. There is no chance of drought revisiting the district, he claimed.