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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: In farmlands affected badly by floods this monsoon, Odisha was among the top-5 states in the country.

The more disconcerting statistics is, in terms of proportion of flooded farmland to total flooded area, the State stood second in the country after Karnataka.

Significantly, when Karnataka has faced a severe flood this monsoon affecting almost half of the districts, Odisha faced a moderate-level flood in August when only three districts of Puri, Bhadrak and Khurda were worst affected.

These skewed facts were brought to fore by a recently released Skymet report on floods and crop damage.

As per the report, Odisha saw a high of 1.09 lakh hectares land flooded in 2019 Monsoon, and nearly 84 per cent or a massive 91,220.74 hectares were farmland.  With such a high proportion farm land getting affected by flood, Odisha was second after Karnataka in the country.

Given the damage of crops in such a vast cultivated land, an estimate shows at the current yield rate of paddy, the State is going see a drop in paddy production by a whopping 158.63 Lakh Tonnes (LT).

The worth mentioning fact here is owing to deficient rainfall in June and July, State's paddy cultivation was affected in a whopping 2.1 million hectare, which has resulted in a dip in the overall paddy production by around 2.6 LT.

When the State has already witnessed a slash in paddy output to the tune of nearly 160 LT, unseasonal rains in pre- diwali days has damaged paddy crops in many coastal areas, whose estimate is in compiling stage, said sources in Agriculture department.

The forecast of heavy rains owing to the brewing cyclone in Bay of Bengal could give a lethal blow to paddy output in Odisha, feel farm experts.

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