Rashmi Rekha Das

Flood in Odisha this year has affected 1.20 lakh hectares of farmlands across the state, as per the initial damage assessment report.  Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain yesterday reviewed the damage caused to farmers in the recent floods in the state.

Sources said, 24 districts of the state have been affected by the floods this year. The farmers in 10 districts incurred heavy losses and have been worst hit. 

The damage is more in three districts- Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Kendrapara.  In Jagatsinghpur, the flood had marooned 2,420 hectares of agricultural lands.  

Districts like Puri, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Sonepur and Boudh have also witnessed crop. Similarly, Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur also witnessed extensive damage due to the swelling of Subarnarekha, Baitarani and Budhabalanga rivers.

Over 7,000 hectares of paddy and non-paddy farmlands in 18 panchayats under Nimapada agriculture district have been affected due to floods in Dhanua and Kusabhadra, said sources.

Besides, the flood has ruined crops on hectares of land by farmers in the state. Vegetables grown in the farmland at Athagarh and Tigiria have been severely damaged due to floods. Many farmers who have grown seasonal vegetables and paddy after taking loans have incurred huge losses due to flash floods. They had availed loans for cultivation from cooperative societies and banks. After incurring losses, they are now staring at uncertainty.

On the other hand, the skyrocketing prices of vegetables have burnt a hole in the pockets of the common people not only in Banki but also in different parts of the state after ravaging floods destroyed standing crops.

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