Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Standing watermelon crops in several acres of land has been damaged at several villages under Telkoi block in Keonjhar district due to the unseasonal rain accompanied by hailstorm triggered by the western disturbance.  The hopes of a high yield for the farmers have been shattered.

As per reports, the farmers at Mandeisahi, Padalei, and Udaygiri villages had cultivated watermelon with the hope that they will make a good profit this year. The plants were laden with fruits and flowers and were almost ready for the harvest. However, the recent heavy rain accompanied by hailstorm due to western disturbance adversely affected the cultivation.  

Most of the fruit that was almost ready for harvest had been damaged completely. The stem of the plants has also been damaged due to the hailstorm, alleged a farmer.

The loss of crop has pushed the farmers into distress as they stare at a bleak future ahead. They borrowed a lot for cultivation from different sources. However, they are now clueless as to how they are going to repay the loans.

“After a day or two, our whole cultivation will perish. How will we repay our loans? What will we feed to our children? We are completely helpless now,” said Sushant Kunar Sahu, a crestfallen farmer.

“We had invested our whole savings in the cultivation. We had borrowed money as well. We were expecting a good harvest due to the good climate favourable for watermelon farming. However, the untimely rain accompanied by the hailstorm damaged everything. Perhaps God didn’t want us to earn well and live happily,” said Pratima Mahanta, another farmer.

As the crop has no insurance, the farmers are clueless about how to repay their loans.

“We have been working so hard for the last three months. We were hopeful that after selling the crops we will make some profit and lead a good life. But our dream has been completely shattered. How we will earn our leaving? We are penniless now,” said Bholeswar Mohanty, another farmer.

(Reported by Pranaya Pani)