Unseasonal rain hurts Odisha farmers

Unseasonal rain hurts Odisha farmers

The unseasonal heavy rain because of a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal that lashed Odisha for three consecutive days freed the people from the intense summer heat but left the farmers in different districts in tears.

The heavy rain destroyed standing crops, particularly vegetables in several districts, forcing the state government to seek reports from district Collectors immediately about the damage. 

Agricultural fields in some areas are still under knee-deep water, though more than three days have passed since the rain stopped. 

“We have asked all the district collectors to send their detailed assessment reports on crop damage as early as possible so that eligible farmers can get their compensation”, the state’s Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), P K Mohapatra said.

The districts where standing crops have been severely hit are - Balasore and Bhadrak in north Odisha, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur in the coastal belt, Rayagada and Gajapati in the south and Bolangir, Kalahandi and Nuapara in the west.

According to a report from Balasore, standing vegetable cultivation in nearly 300 hectares of agricultural land have been affected by the heavy rain in different villages under Remuna block of the district alone. 

The prices of vegetables are expected to go up across the state in the coming days as the area caters to the lion’s share of the total vegetable demand of the state. 

The newly-appointed state agriculture minister, Pradip Maharathi, and other senior officers including the Director, Agriculture, visited Nuapara district in western Odisha on Sunday to make an on-the-spot assessment of the crop damage. In Nuapara, onion cultivation has been affected in a big way.

Meanwhile, eight people have been reported killed in the thunderstorm that hit different western Odisha districts late on Saturday evening. 

They include a couple of fishermen who had gone inside the Hirakud reservoir for fishing. Other deaths occurred due to lightning and wall collapse.