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Odisha's Paddy Cultivation Area Reduced by 20% Due to Scanty Rainfall

The official acknowledged that little rain in June had a negative impact on paddy farming in some areas of the state, but added that things had slightly improved in July and would survive if IMD's forecast for excellent rain in August came true.

Shivam Dwivedi
Reduced Paddy Cultivation Area Due to Scanty Rainfall
Reduced Paddy Cultivation Area Due to Scanty Rainfall

The delayed monsoon and inadequate rainfall in June and July have made the lives of many farmers in Odisha unpleasant, officials said on Wednesday. As a result, paddy cultivation has decreased by 20% throughout the state.

According to a senior official in the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production, paddy is being planted and broadcasted along with growing nurseries on about 16 lakh hectares of land during the current Kharif season, down from 20 lakh hectares by August 1 last year. He stated, "The variation is 20%.

However, the official claimed that over 35 lakh hectares of paddy were grown over the full 2021 Kharif season in the state. We still have two months left in the Kharif season, and he predicted that, with excellent rains in August, the goal would likely be reached.

The official acknowledged that little rain in June had a negative impact on paddy farming in some areas of the state, but added that things had slightly improved in July and would survive if IMD's forecast for excellent rain in August came true.

In May, the state received 26% more rain than normal, while in June, it got 43% less. 98.6 mm of rain fell in June as opposed to the 173.2 mm average during this time. According to the Meteorological Center in this area, the situation did, however, slightly improve in July. The Met Center reported that seasonal cumulative rainfall from June 1 to August 3 was 522.9 mm as opposed to its average amount of 586.3 mm.

Only two districts (Boudh and Kandhamal) saw above-average rainfall during the time period, while seven (Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Bolangir, and Kalahandi) saw below-average rainfall. Up till August 3, the met office reported that the tribal-dominated Sundergarh district had the biggest rainfall deficit, at minus 42%, followed by Sambalpur (-32%) then Bhadrak, Jharsuguda, and Bolangir (-23%) and Kalahandi (-21%).

The official stated that "the remaining 21 districts have experienced typical rainfall and paddy farming activities are proceeding normally there." The ground realities, according to farmers, appear to be different because paddy sapling transplantation has been hampered by insufficient rainfall.

Despite the paddy saplings being prepared, Susant Samal, a farmer in the Patkura area of the Kendrapara district, said, "We are unable to transplant them due to a lack of water in agricultural fields." Farmers say they are having trouble since traditional irrigation routes are obstructed and there is no water in canals, even though Kendrapara only had a negative 9% rainfall deficit.

Farmers suffer a similar fate in practically every coastal district, as well as in Sundergarh, Sambalpur, and Mayurbhanj. Farmers currently struggle to fulfill the goal because farming relies primarily on precipitation because there aren't any irrigation systems

According to agriculture scientist Sandip Patnaik, Odisha for some years has been witnessing a different climate as most of the rain comes in the month of September and October instead of the normal monsoon months of July and August. He attributed it to climate change and claimed that the monsoon seems to have been moved forward two months. Late rain, he claimed, is useless for the production of paddy.

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