KENDRAPARA: Hailstorm, accompanied by rain, lashed several parts of the district on Tuesday damaging vegetable crops, mostly green gram (moong), in large tracts of land. The unseasonal rain has poured water on the hopes of farmers who said the moong crop was in harvesting stage and the coming two weeks were crucial before reaping the produce.
Some of the farmers, who reaped a part of their crop, are distraught. “I have lost vegetable crop which I had reaped in the last few days. With all the harvest destroyed, I am at a loss over repaying bank loan that I had taken to cultivate summer crop,” said Natabara Jena, a farmer of Pattamundai. Another farmer, Giridhari Behera of Patkura, said the unseasonal rain and hail damaged black gram and green gram saplings on two acres of land.
Farmer leader and secretary of district unit of Krusak Sabha Gayadhar Dhal said crop damage has been reported from almost all coastal pockets of the district. Farmers fear that another round of shower would completely damage their crop.
Apart from vegetable crop growers, the hailstorm has ruined betel farms on large tracts of land across Kendrapara and its nearby areas. “Hundreds of betel leaves in several farms have been damaged by sudden rain and hail,” said Narayan Mandal, a betel grower of Kandaripatana village.
Betel farmers of the district are facing hard times because of the Government’s indifference and non-implementation of various beneficiary projects for the growers, said Mandal. Neither the government nor any insurance company is extending helping hand to the betel growers of the district, as a result, many growers are unable to insure their farms, added Mandal. Though the quantum of damage is yet to be ascertained by the farmers, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department in Kendrapara Mitrodoya Das said.