Subadh Kumar Nayak

Pulbani: Large parts of agricultural land in Kandhamal district have now turned into parched land following water scarcity following which hundreds of farmers of the tribal-dominated district are now a dejected lot as there is neither any irrigation facility nor adequate rainfall in the area. The peasants have also alleged that they are yet to get the crop seeds from the Agriculture and Irrigation Department.

"Even though this is the right time to sow seeds on the field, we are yet to begin agricultural activity as there is no water and rain. We are yet to get crop seeds from the government. We don't even know who is the Village Level Worker (VLW)," Sudhakar Kanha, a farmer.

Another farmer, Nabarati Kanha, said, "As cultivation is the only way to earn our livelihood, we are worried about the outcome this year. While there is no rain at all, the heatwave condition continues to prevail. There may be drought in our district this year."

According to reports, Kharif crops are harvested in 1.27 lakh hectares of land in the district every year. The preparation for sowing the seeds had reached its final stage, however, it was hampered following water scarcity.

Deputy director of the Agriculture and Irrigation Department of the district, Pradeep Kumar Rath, said that there will be good rain in the district in the coming days."Crops will be distributed to the farmers through Large Area Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS)," said Rath.