Ahead of procurement, Odisha farmers distressed over crop damage due to heavy rain

In Kalahandi, the situation is grim in Uthla, Chahaka and Badchergaon areas where several crops like paddy, cotton and sugarcane are left extensively damaged.
A farmer removes uprooted trees from his farmland after rain in Kalahandi | EXPRESS
A farmer removes uprooted trees from his farmland after rain in Kalahandi | EXPRESS

BHAWANIPATNA/JEYPORE: At a time when several districts are gearing up for kharif paddy procurement, the unexpected heavy downpour coupled with hailstorm late on Friday night in several places in Kalahandi and Koraput districts have reportedly caused extensive damage to the standing crops in these areas.

While, paddy procurement in Kalahandi is set to commence on November 29, in Koraput district, it is expected to begin sometime around December first week.

In Kalahandi, the situation is grim in Uthla, Chahaka, and Badchergaon areas where several crops like paddy, cotton, and sugarcane are left extensively damaged. While crop damage in such a crucial stage has broken the backbone of farmers, in several places electric poles and trees have been uprooted snapping electric supply and disrupting road connectivity.

Meanwhile, Kalahandi collector P Anvesha Reddy during a strategy meeting on Saturday announced that kharif paddy procurement in the district will commence from November 29. While paddy procurement will begin in the Koksara, Narla, M Rampur, and Karlamunda blocks of the district on November 29, it will start in Bhawanipatna, Kesinga, Dharamgarh, Junagarh, Golamunda and Kalampur blocks from December 1. Similarly, Lanjigarh block will begin its paddy procurement on December 5.

As many as 1,12,282 farmers have registered themselves for selling paddy through 74 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS). Meanwhile, 213 paddy procurement centers and 32 women self-help groups (SHGs) will be engaged for the purpose. The meeting also decided to ensure support prices to farmers, combat distress sales, and take action stringent action against middlemen and other unscrupulous persons if they are found harassing the farmers.

Meanwhile, Koraput, too, has been affected by untimely rains ahead of the procurement process. While paddy procurement in the district is expected to begin from December first week, incessant rain in different areas since Friday has brought the paddy harvesting process to a grinding halt. Mild to moderate rainfall was recorded in Jeypore, Borigumma, Kotpad, Kundra, Boipariguda, Koraput, and Damanjodi areas in the last 24 hours of which paddy in Jeypore and Borigumma have been badly damaged.

While farmers of these areas had begun their paddy harvesting process four days back owing to good weather conditions, the cultivation process has meanwhile been suspended due to inclement weather. Reportedly, over 42,000 hectares of land were allotted for cultivation of paddy in Jeypore of which 30 pc crops had reached the harvesting stage. District emergency officer Gyanajeet Tripathy said the weather condition will be back to normal after Monday.

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