Farmers worried as meteorological dept issues rain alert

Bhubaneswar/Rayagada/Nuapada: Even as there is no cyclone threat for Odisha, the heavy rain forecast has left farmers in several parts of the State a worried lot. The farmers anticipate that fresh spell of rain may cost dearly to them as it would damage crops.

As a precaution, they have now started to harvest paddy and cotton crops in view of the rain forecast. Moreover, delay in paddy procurement indifferent parts has added to the woes of the farmers.

“Keeping in view the rain forecast of two days from tomorrow, we have covered harvested crops in farmland,” said Narasingha, a farmer.

Expressing similar views, cotton farmer Babita Tadingee said, “As the met department has predicted rain, we have plucked cotton hurriedly to keep them at safer places.”

Agriculture officers are now busy in creating awareness among farmers for safekeeping of the harvested crops.

“Field functionaries are visiting farmers to create awareness and are advising them to cover harvested crops and keep at safe places,” said Rabindra Nath Khuntia, Deputy Director of Agriculture department, Rayagada.

As per the advisory issued by agriculture department, farmers have been asked to cover the crops with polythene sheets as the harvested crop might germinate.

“Besides, cotton farmers should keep harvested cotton at safe places,” stated Balakrushna Gouda, District Agriculture Officer, Titlagarh.

As per the Regional Meteorological Centre forecast, the rainfall activity will mostly be over the districts in interior Odisha and a few places in the coastal areas.

The deep depression over Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclone and subsequently into a severe cyclonic storm and likely to cross Andhra Pradesh on December 17.

Under its impact the bordering districts of Odisha including Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Koraput will receive heavy rainfall, informed Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre, HR Biswas.