A possible landfall of cyclonic storm Sitrang in Odisha has spread fear and apprehension in the minds of farmers in several districts of the state, especially in Balasore district. Farmers fear distress sale of paddy at a time when Rabi crop is in flowering stage.
With no solution in sight, many are planning to harvest the standing crops early while many are left in lurch. The farmers, who are already debt-ridden, fear the incessant rains triggered by the cyclonic storm will destroy their crops and bring them major losses.
Speaking to OTV, a farmer said, “We are helpless, we cannot do anything. There will be huge losses. Only, we know how much hard we have worked for the crops. But, all the crops will be damaged and despite knowing everything, the sad part is we cannot do anything.”
“Paddy is almost ready. But, now everything will be washed away in incessant rainfall. We are helpless,” he added.
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Another farmer, Shyam Das, said, “I have grown paddy in 2 acres of land. Everything will be lost in the cyclone. I’m a worried lot. I had taken loan for the paddy farming. Now, I’m helpless.”
Similarly, another farmer said, “Paddy is in the budding stage. The buds will be destroyed if hit by wind or rain. Most of us have taken loan, borrowed money and mortgaged lands for the paddy farming. Most of them had high hopes. Some would have used the money for the studies of their children. Many wanted to build a proper house. But, now everyone will be worried and will face huge losses.”
“I fear, some farmers might take some drastic steps. So, I request the government to provide necessary relief if the cyclonic storm hits the farmers,” he added.
Not only paddy, but vegetable and other small marginal farmers who had cultivated other crops are also a worried lot about the impending storm.
(Reported by Rashmi Ranjan Dash)