Deficit rainfall threatens kharif crops in Ganjam

With all water sources, including rivers, remaining dry, the upcoming agricultural season looks grim.
Representative Image
Representative ImageFILE Photo | Express

BERHAMPUR: Deficit rainfall, despite predictions of heavy rain, has severely impacted kharif paddy cultivation, spelling disaster for farmers across Ganjam district.

With all water sources, including rivers, remaining dry, the upcoming agricultural season looks grim. Most of the district’s cultivable lands are rain-fed due to inadequate irrigation coverage, bundling up the problem.

Farmers were hopeful for a good kharif harvest following the IMD forecast of normal rainfall. However, the monsoon’s inconsistent arrival has led to growing despair among them. Most farmers have not yet begun agricultural work due to the lack of water supply.

This year, the district administration set a target to cover 4.5 lakh hectares of land under kharif cultivation.

According to chief district agriculture officer Sudhansu Kumar Nanda, of the total land, 1,78,900 hectares were meant for paddy, and non-paddy crops were planned for 1,26,850 hectares. “Typically, after Akhi Trutiya, the lands should be ploughed for sowing, but the lack of rain has delayed this process,” he added.

Simanchal Nahak of Rushikulya Rayat Mahasabha reported that sowing has only covered about 30 per cent of cultivable lands so far. He criticised the lack of action to renovate irrigation sources, leading to repeated crop losses over the past decade.

Nahak also questioned the irrigation department’s claims about the increase in cultivable land, noting that many areas, especially in urban bodies, have been converted into plots with official approval, while others remain barren due to a lack of irrigation.

Meanwhile, the irrigation department sources stated that the IMD predicts more rain in July, assuring that farmers would not face problems in paddy cultivation. While the district received 102.84 mm rainfall during June 2021, it received o95.21 mm in 2022 and 7o9.50 mm rain fall in June 2023. However, the district received 120.88 mm of rainfall in June this year against an average of 168.7 mm.

With reservoirs in the district dried up and last week’s rain failing to raise water levels, Nahak has urged the agriculture commissioner to direct district officials to renovate all water bodies urgently to store rainwater. He also called for a massive plantation drive in the district.

LESS RAIN, MORE PAIN

District administration set a target to cover 4.5 lakh hectares of land under kharif cultivation

Of the total land, 1,78,900 hectares were meant for paddy

Non-paddy crops were planned for 1,26,850 hectares

Due to insufficient rains, agriculture activities are standstill

Sowing has only covered about 30 per cent of cultivable lands so far

The district received 120.88 mm of rainfall in June this year against an average of 168.7 mm

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com