After pests, rain pain for Odisha farmers

By TheHindu on 11 Nov 2017

The Odisha government on Friday issued advisories to farmers asking them to harvest ripen paddy immediately as heavy rain was predicted due to a low-pressure area brewing over the Bay of Bengal.

“A low-pressure area has formed over the southwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood on Friday. The associated upper air cyclonic circulation extends up to 5.8 km above mean sea level,” said IMD’s Odisha branch issuing bulletin here.

In a letter to all Collectors, the State government warned that rain is likely to commence from November 13. “Light to moderate rain is predicted at a few places, while heavy rainfall is likely at one or two places over south Odisha districts on November 14,” the letter read.

As many as 17 Odisha districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj, will experience rain between November 15 and 18 due to movement of low-pressure system close to the coast.

Safe storage

“Farmer should shift their harvested paddy to safe places and keep it properly stacked under suitable cover so as to avoid any loss due to rain,” said Maheswar Mohanty, State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister, after chairing a preparedness meeting here.

Steps should also be taken to provide safe storage facility at paddy procurement centres, the Minister instructed.

Fresh spell of rain could spell trouble for Odisha farmers who have already suffered massive crop loss due to low rainfall and subsequent pest attack.

While over 3.15 lakh hectares of kharif crop, spread over 70 blocks in 15 of the 30 districts, were affected by drought, brown planthoppers sucked sap paddy plants in 1,28,319 hectares of cropped area in 8,092 villages in 24 districts.

“We have a bumper crop this year. If untimely rain happens, the ready-to-harvest paddy crop will definitely be affected. We are keeping our fingers crossed and praying that the rain does not affect us,” said Jatadhari Rout, a farmer in Jagatsinghpur.

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