Kharif farming affected as monsoon plays truant in Odisha

The state received around 17 per cent deficit rainfall in June 2021 

By Hrusikesh Mohanty
Published: Thursday 01 July 2021

Farming during the current Kharif season has been affected in most parts of Odisha as the monsoon played a truant: The state received around 17 per cent deficit rainfall in June 2021. 

The state received an average 181.3 millimetres rainfall against its normal of 210.7 mm, said HR Biswas, director, regional centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Bhubaneswar.

South-west monsoon was set arrive in the state June 10, a day ahead of its time last year, with widespread rainfall. Deficient rainfall in June — crucial for paddy sowing and transplantation of Kharif crops — is likely to affect farming activities, said Surendra Nath Pasupalak, former vice-chancellor, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar.

As many as 14 districts, including Bhadrak, Gajapati and Ganjam, recorded deficit rainfall; 16 recorded normal or a little above normal rainfall.

Puri, Koraput, Kendrapara and Cuttack recorded excess rainfall in June, according to sources.

Pasupalak added deficient rainfall was recorded in as many as 152 out of 314 blocks, mostly in the southern part of the state. The situation could be worse if there is no rainfall in the next 10 days, he said.

The farmers have to go for medium- and short-duration paddy variety for cultivation, said Pasupalak.

Odisha has proposed to cultivate paddy in around 35 lakh hectares during this Kharif season, as against the 36.5 lakh hectares last year, official sources said.

Farming activities for Kharif season usually start off in the third week of June with the arrival of monsoon. But this year has been different, said Sudhir Rout, a leading farmer in Kukudakhandi block in Ganjam district.

“We are waiting for July rainfall to start transplantation of paddy,” said Pitambar Karjee of Mohana in Gajapati district.  

The situation is likely to improve in July in Ganjam district; the India Meteorological Department has predicts rainfall in the first week of July for the district, said Duryodhan Patang, chief district agriculture officer, Ganjam.  

Meanwhile, the regional centre of the IMD, Bhubaneswar, has predicted that the state will experience heavy rainfall in the beginning of July.  It issued yellow warnings in as many as 22 districts.

Heavy showers will lash few places in Koraput, Malkangiri, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Dhenkanal, Angul and Cuttack in the next 24 hours, it stated. 

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