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Rashmi Rekha Das

Floods caused by opening of 40 sluice gates of Hirakud dam following incessant rain have ruined crops in thousands of hectares of land at Banki area leaving farmers in lurch. With floodwater inundating agricultural lands, price of vegetables has gone through the roof in the state. 

Sky-rocketing prices of vegetable have burnt a hole in the pockets of common people not only in Banki but also in different parts of the state after ravaging floods destroyed crops.

Farmers who have been cultivating seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, snakebeans, okra, ridge gourd, cucumber, capsicum, beans, chillies, brinjal and onion have incurred heavy losses as floodwater has submerged their farmlands. As fields were covered by floodwater, crops have almost entirely been destroyed. Fungal and pest attack on crop have worsened their loss.

Meanwhile, weeds being swept away from Anshupa lake owing to swelling Mahanadi River have added to farmers’ woes.
According to sources, villages like Kadalibadi, Malabiharpur, Ramachandrapur and Podapada under Banki block are known for yielding seasonal crops. Farmlands of these villages, however, had to bear the brunt of nature’s wrath and crops raised there have started rotting in submerged in water.

As crops raised by local farmers stopped coming to markets, people have to depend on vegetables being exported from West Bengal and other neighbouring states. And this led to a rise in vegetable prices. 

According to data available from Cuttack Chhatra Bazaar Haat and Bhubaneswar Unit I Haat, green chillies are sold at Rs 150 per kilogram. Similarly, snakebeans is sold at Rs90-Rs100 per kg while okra, ridge gourd, brinjal, pointed gourd, spiny gourd are tomato are being sold at Rs 80, Rs 60, Rs 60-70, Rs 50-70, Rs 50 and Rs 40 respectively. 

Patato and onion which are available at Rs 25-30 per kg may witness a rise in price in coming days, said sellers.

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