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Kharif crop in danger, 23 districts await rains in Odisha

While affected farmers are desperately waiting for the rain gods to smile on them, the Odisha Government needs to draw up a contingency plan to save the crops.

Published: 29th July 2020 08:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2020 08:07 AM   |  A+A-

Kharif crop, rice

Puri and Cuttack districts are closely behind with less rainfall of 56 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. (Representational Image)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: With the south west monsoon playing truant, a highly erratic rainfall has cast shadow on kharif crop prospects in the State. As many as 23 districts have received deficit rainfall ranging from 20 per cent to 57 per cent in July, considered to be the most crucial month for agriculture operations like beusaning, up-rooting of seedlings and transplanting of paddy crop.

While affected farmers are desperately waiting for the rain gods to smile on them, the Odisha Government needs to draw up a contingency plan to save the crops. Though districts such as Boudh, Kandhamal, Ganjam, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Nuapada are better off, the rainfall deficit in these districts ranges from four per cent to 15 per cent. Excess or deficit rainfall of 19 per cent is considered normal in the cropping season. It is the coastal and central districts of Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak as well as northern pockets of Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh which are the worst hit with shortfall of over 40 per cent.

The western Odisha districts of Bargarh and Sambalpur, considered to be the rice bowl of the State, are also facing deficit rainfall of over 30 per cent. The only saving grace is that the two districts are well irrigated. Khurda tops the list with a rainfall deficit of 57 per cent. The district has received only 124.9 mm of rain as on date against 287.3 mm in a normal monsoon.

Puri and Cuttack districts are closely behind with less rainfall of 56 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. Currently, the area under cultivation of paddy, pulses, oil seeds and cotton is about 45 per cent in the State. “Release of water in Puri canal by Water Resources department a couple of day ago enabled us to take up transplantation and beusaning activities. A little delay in water release could have damaged the saplings,” said Dilip Baral, a big farmer with 40 acres land holding in Puri district.

“Broadcasting and sowing of paddy seeds are complete in all districts. Raising of seedlings in nursery in some districts are still underway and transplanting operation was in full swing in some districts due to good showers during the first fortnight of July,” Agriculture department officials said.However, if there is no more rain within a week, no one can save the broadcasted and nursery paddy in districts having no irrigation facilities, sources warned.



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