BARIPADA: Farmers of Rairangpur and Karanjia sub-divisions in Mayurbhanj district have halted agricultural activities due to scattered rainfall in the last 10 days. While farm fields have dried up in several areas, paddy transplantation work, which picked up pace following good showers in the last week of July, has been completed on 70 per cent acres.
Farmers were expecting to finish transplantation by the second week of August. But scattered light to moderate rains has affected agriculture and farmers were forced to stop their transplantation work in the rest 30 per cent acres.
Santanu Giri, a farmer of Khuruntia village, said sowing was delayed this time due to scanty rains in June. Again, scattered rain has taken a toll on paddy transplantation affecting Kharif crop output. If there is no good rains within two or three days, the transplanted paddy plants will wither, he apprehended.
Farmers of Khandia village in Shamakhunta block alleged that apart from scanty rainfall, poor water supply in canals from Baldiha dam on Palpala river has failed to meet the water needs of farmers. Though irrigation officials released water from the canal to save crops, it failed to reach the tail-end. Despite having adequate water in Suno, Kalo and Sulei reservoirs, irrigation officials are yet to increase the flow of water in the canals, they rued.
Executive Engineer of Minor Irrigation, Baripada, Mahesh Kumar Patnayak said there are 381 check dams under his circle and all the reservoirs have adequate water to cater to the needs of farmers. It can irrigate 1,920 hectares of land in Baripada circle, he added.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Damodar Sethi said there is no chance of drought-like situation in the district as soil is wet and has high residual moisture content. In the last 10 days, the district has received 82 mm rainfall against 104 mm normal while 359 mm rain is required in August, he added. He expected that kharif farm work will be completed by August 25.
This year, the department has set a target to cover 4,37,00 hectare across the district under kharif cultivation for various crops. Of this, 1,58,891 hectare is irrigated and 2,78,109 hectare rain-fed. It was targeted to cultivate high-yielding variety and local paddy on 2,92,000 hectare, he informed.