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Odishatv Bureau

Dhenkanal/Phulbani: Scanty rainfall has raised drought apprehension in Dhenkanal and Kandhamal districts even as the farmers are eagerly waiting for good downpour to expedite agriculture work.

Several parts of the districts have received below average rainfall this year which halted the tilling activities. Less than expected rainfall in July has left the fields completely dry in some places of both the districts.

Areas like Bhuban, Kamakhyanagar, Parjanga and Kankadahad of Dhenkanal district have faced insufficient rainfall this year. Moreover, flow of water in Rengali, Dadaraghati and Ramiala canal has slowed down due to poor quality work which had added to woes of farming community in the district.

"We could have saved the crop if the canals release water. But, poor quality of work in construction of canal has affected the flow of water. So, rain is our only hope," a farmer of Mathakaragola village in Dhenkanal said.

Echoing similar concern, another farmer from Kamakhyanagar said the farmers in the area are in severe mental strain apprehending massive crop loss in the absence of a good shower.

Farmers in Kandhamal district also face a similar situation. Deficit rainfall is giving sleepless nights to farmers who wonder how to repay the loans. If it does not rain in next 15 days, the peasants would be hit hard.

"We had expected a bumper harvest this year. But, the weather played truant and our hopes were dashed. We have no alternative than going for daily wage," a farmer in Kandhamal district said.

However, district agriculture department said the low-lying fields would not be affected by the scanty rain. "We received 209 mm rain against 304 mm in July. It can’t affect the agriculture work in low-lying fields," said Bijay Ketan Sahoo, district assistant agriculture officer.

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