Deficit rain sows kharif crop worries for farmers in Odisha's Sundargarh
Sundargarh chief district agriculture officer (CDA) Birendra Behera informed that 16 of the 17 blocks received deficit rainfall. At least 11 blocks are the worst affected.
ROURKELA: Scanty rainfall in June and July has left paddy farmers of Sundargarh district in a lurch. Agriculture officials said most of the blocks in Sundargarh are reeling under deficit rainfall. Heavy rain is required in the next seven to 10 days to prevent the situation from further worsening as paddy farming activities have already slowed down significantly.
In June, the district received a mere 83.54 mm of rainfall against the normal of 236.4 mm. While July is the peak time in kharif crop season, Sundargarh received 265.68 mm rain against the normal of 386.4 mm in the month. Only Hemgir block received excess rainfall at 477.74 mm. Lefripada, Tangarpali, Sundargarh, Koida and Bonai got 295 to 332 mm rain which is marginally better than the 11 worst-hit blocks.
The situation in Nuagaon is grim as the block received 158.90 mm rain followed by Subdega, Lathikata, Gurundia, Baishankara, Bargaon, Kutra, Kuanrmunda, Bisra, Lahunipada and Rajgangpur.It is learnt that of 2.04 lakh hectare (ha) targeted for paddy farming in the kharif season, around 1.05 lakh ha has been covered so far. Due to deficit rainfall, transplanting operations could not be taken up in most parts of the cultivated areas leaving the farmers worried. In the rest 99,000 ha, paddy cultivation activities are yet to start.
Sundargarh chief district agriculture officer (CDA) Birendra Behera informed that 16 of the 17 blocks received deficit rainfall. At least 11 blocks are the worst affected. Heavy rains are required in the coming days and if the dry spell continues for long, agriculture operations would be further delayed.
Meanwhile, adding to the worries of farmers, the available irrigation facilities are of no help due to the lack of water at the source points. Reliable sources informed us that the irrigation reservoirs are not able to improve the situation due to low water levels.
Of around a dozen mega lift irrigation projects, at least 10 are not able to feed water to farm fields. The water storage level of Rukura, Kansbahal, Talsara and Sarafgarh medium irrigation dams is too low. Though Pitamahal medium irrigation reservoir is better positioned compared to the rest four, it cannot cater to the needs of farmers for long. Together, the five mid-size dams can irrigate 17,232 ha.