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Rabinarayan

Subarnapur: Far from usual wetness, the ongoing monsoon in Odisha has rather been a dry affair. The State has witnessed a deficit of around 12% in the seasonal rainfall as compared to the long-term average. The situation is extremely severe in the coastal part of the State which has been the hardest hit region due to less rainfall.

According to Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar data, Sonepur has witnessed 31 per cent rain deficit till date which is far less than its surrounding districts in western Odisha.

With no rains, farmers of Sonepur Ullunda block are in agony over uncertain agricultural activities this year. Farmlands have become arid without the usual rains. As per reports, farming activities kicked off in the district early this year with healthy spells of rain during the onset of monsoon. Farmers sowed their fields on time but they have done no progress after that as the plantation process needs ample amount of water in the field.

Sonepur has irrigation facility only in Dunguripalli and Binika blocks where agricultural activities have not been affected due to shortage of rain.

Dinabandhu Kumbhar, a farmer from Ullunda block said, “We are in despair over less rains. We were about to start paddy plantation but no rainfall occurred in this area. Plants cannot withstand such a situation without rain.”

“We didn’t receive as much rain this monsoon as is required for paddy crop. Some farmers had harvested rain water, but is not enough for crops,” said Jogindra Manandia, another farmer from Ullunda block.

Prasant Satapathy, Deputy director for Agriculture in the district has accepted about the deficit rainfall this season.

“We are going to achieve the crop target this year. Two of our 6 blocks are irrigated and other 4 blocks are experiencing shortage of water due to less rain,” he said.

Balasore which is one of the coastal districts have also been hard hit due to rainfall deficit. As of now, the district has witnessed 36 per cent less rain this year. Several blocks of Balasore are in a drought-like situation.

Agricultural activities are lagging behind as the rain quantity is not favorable for paddy crop. Cropping process has not started yet in most of its blocks.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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