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Crop loss fear grips farmers in Ganjam

Staff Reporter
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Drought-like situation prevails in the district due to low rainfall

GRIM SCENARIO: A farmer sits in his dried-up paddy field at Ralaba village in Ganjam district. — PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA
GRIM SCENARIO: A farmer sits in his dried-up paddy field at Ralaba village in Ganjam district. — PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA

Farmers in Ganjam are facing possible crop loss due to drought-like situation caused by low and erratic rainfall this year. This is in sharp contrast to other areas of the State where heavy rainfall has caused extensive loss due to floods. Most of the canals in the district are unable to provide sufficient water to farmers for cultivation. In a recent report the officials of the Agriculture Department have pointed out that all the 22 blocks of this district are affected by low rainfall.

Non-provision of proper amount of water has started to irk peasants. In some areas such as Huma and Burupada, farmers have demonstrated at local offices of the Irrigation Department. Former deputy speaker of State Assembly Ram Chandra Panda says unless government comes out with some remedial measures for farmers, it may lead to law and order situation in some areas.

He says it was high time to distribute whatever water is available through irrigation systems.

Paddy cultivation has been worst affected due to low rainfall. According to the Agriculture Department data, this year low rainfall in the beginning of kharif season affected paddy cultivation in four blocks of the district. But paddy cultivation in other blocks also got affected as proper rainfall did not occur in subsequent months. It is estimated that no cultivation could be taken up in around 13,000 hectares of agricultural land in the district.

Minister's visit

During his recent visit to the district, State Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra also admitted the agricultural loss due to low rainfall and drought-like situation in the district. This year, the crop loss assessment will be made by taking panchyats as units rather than blocks so that more peasants who are likely to suffer crop loss could be benefited, he says, adding that efforts are on to save existing paddy crop in Ganjam through lift irrigation system. Ten thousand lift irrigation points will be repaired and renovated on a war-footing.


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