Farmers are going to bear the brunt of approaching cyclone Jawad as they are yet to shift their harvested paddy to safety. Already affected by the pandemic, paddy farmers and vegetable growers hoped for a decent harvest this season. But, cyclone ‘Jawad’ is going to dash their hopes to the ground.
“We have just harvested the crop. They are still lying in the farmland. So far, we don’t have enough time to shift them to safer places. Yet, we are trying our level best to carry as much as we can to save them from going waste,” maintained a farmer, Ashok Hati.
Echoing the same plight, a farmer, Ananta Panda, said he has grown brinjal, bitter gourd and cucumber and the vegetables are ready to harvest. “To grow vegetables, I took a loan of Rs 50,000. Now, the prospect of losing the crop is haunting me. The rain will damage the crops, making it difficult for me to repay the loan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bhadrak district administration has made elaborate arrangements to ensure minimal damage by cyclone ‘Jawad’. District Collector Trilochan Majhi convened an emergency meeting to review the preparedness and measures have been taken accordingly. Senior administrative officials have been deputed in coastal blocks to keep an eye on the developments.
While briefing media about the steps taken, District Collector Majhi said one National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been sent to Dhamra and the second team, upon its arrival, will be moved to Basudevpur area.
“As per the forecast, the tides will be one or two meters high than the normal pitch. Keeping this in mind, multipurpose cyclone shelters and other shelters have been kept ready in tsunami-prone Basudevpur, Chandbali and nearby villages. Nodal officers have been deployed there. Administration is ready to shift people from low lying areas and kutcha houses to the shelters,” informed Majhi.
Meanwhile, farmers in Pipili block of Puri district are in the same boat as their counterparts in Bhadrak district. Since it has been confirmed that that cyclone-induced heavy rain will pound the district, the farmers are staring at massive crop loss. Just at the time of harvest, the rain is going to play spoilsport. They are sure that the cyclone won’t leave their hard-grown paddy and vegetables like cabbage, cucumber, ridge guard and egg plant worth for selling. They demanded the administration to compensate the loss.
Vegetable price is already witnessing an upward trend. It is now predicted that the vegetable crop loss will skyrocket the price further.