Odisha farmers hit hard by floods

 Farmers in Odisha have been hit hard by the current floods across the state. The flood waters inundated thousands of hectares of cultivated land in all the 23 flood-hit districts destroying standing crops, including vegetables. The farmers have already started demanding compensation besides waiving agricultural loans.

According to a government estimate, a whopping 3,25,000 hectares of crop area have been affected due to the floods in different districts. The figure is expected to go up as the crop area damage reports are yet to be received from four out of the 23 flood-hit districts.

They are Bargarh, Kalahandi, Sundergarh in western Odisha and Mayurbhanj in the north. All the four districts, particularly Kalahandi and Bargarh, were severely affected by the natural calamity. Vegetable farmers have suffered the most.

“The floods have broken our backbone. The standing vegetable crops have been destroyed completely as they remained submerged under flood waters for days together. Our future will be bleak if the government does not come forward to help us,” said Madhav Behera, a vegetable farmer from Balipatna near the state capital.
The flood-hit districts, where vegetable cultivation has been severely affected, include Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Puri, Kendrapara, Kalahandi and Boudh.

In a majority of these districts more than 40,000 hectares of crop areas have been affected by the floods.

A maximum of 51,941 hectares have been destroyed in north Odisha Bhadrak district alone.

The market players have already predicted a stiff rise in the prices of vegetables across the state under the impact of the crop damage.

“The prices of vegetables are expected to go up even further as there will almost be no supply from the local farmers,” said Budhia Sahu, a vegetable vendor in Sahid Nagar market in Bhubaneswar.

The state depends on both local farmers as well as other states for its vegetable needs.

Officials in the revenue department said, the district collectors had already been instructed to send their reports on crop damage as early as possible so that the farmers can be paid compensation. “The compensation will be paid as per government rules,” said an official.

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