BHUBANESWAR: Paddy cultivation has taken a hit with the State facing a deficit rainfall of 29 pc between June and August 10. Usually, kharif activities commence by May end and continue till August end. State’s 90 pc of the farmers are into paddy cultivation. In the current kharif season, many farmers who started sowing paddy seeds or transplanting the saplings are now worried over the break spell of the southwest monsoon.
According to the Crop Weather Watch Group, State’s paddy programme area is 35 lakh hectares but the crop has been taken up in 24.68 lakh hectares till August 7. During the same period last year, paddy cultivation was over 29.66 lakh hectares which means there is a decline of about 5 lakh hectares so far.
“Many farmers did not start cultivation waiting for the rain which is why paddy coverage has been less this time. The situation is such that even if the State receives rainfall in the coming days, it will not be of much help to the farmers,” said Amaresh Khuntia, a faculty member of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology’s Agronomy department.
The State witnessed 78 pc scanty rainfall between August 1 and 9. Experts said that if the paddy cultivation target is not achieved in the kharif season, the price of rice in the open market will be hiked by traders. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that southwest monsoon remained subdued/weak between August 1 and 10 due to weak monsoon flow over Odisha.
The State received 488.6 mm rainfall between June 1 and August 10, which is a 29 per cent deficit. Out of 30 districts, 22 are under the deficient rainfall category and eight districts are under the normal category. More than 40 per cent deficiency has been observed in four districts - Bhadrak, Jajpur, Gajapati and Balangir - between June and August 10.
“Weak monsoon conditions with below normal rainfall activity is expected in Odisha for next five days. However, thunderstorm activity with lightning is likely to occur in the State during the period,” said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Scientist, Umasankar Das.
State’s paddy programme area is 35 lakh hectare
Paddy cultivation has been taken up in 24.68 lakh hectares till August 7
During the same period last year, paddy cultivation was over 29.66 lakh hectares which means there is a decline of about 5 lakh hectares so far