Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA: The continuing heat wave coupled with the absence of any pre-monsoon rains will delay the plantation of jute and eventually affect the entire crop cycle in West Bengal, the State Government fears.

While paddy is planted later in the year the current heat wave and the absence of rain would affect the jute crop, G.C. Barman, the State's Director of Agriculture said here on Wednesday.

“ He said the region was worst-affected by scanty and delayed monsoon rains last year as well. “Over two lakh hectares of land usually planted with paddy lay barren last year,” he said

About 6 lakh hectares of land in the State is utilised for jute cultivation of which 70 per cent is dependent on rains. Jute is usually planted in the Khraif season during the pre-monsoon showers so that it can flourish when the monsoons arrive, he said.

If there are no rains, sowing will be pushed back until the monsoons come which would then delay the two crops of paddy that usually follow the Kharif crop, he added.