Agricultural operation in current Kharif crop season has been badly hit with southwest monsoon playing truant in Odisha.
As against the State’s average rainfall of 393.3 mm rainfall by July 17 (Wednesday), 290.1 mm precipitation has been recorded, which is deficit by 26.23%. Only Koraput district has received surplus rainfall while in the rest 29 districts, rainfall has been in negative.
“Since below 19% rainfall is considered normal, 13 districts have been categorized as normal. Seventeen districts have recorded deficit rainfall,” said S. C. Sahu, Director of Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) at the SOA University.
Mr. Sahu said five districts such as Gajapati, Balangir, Balasore, Rayagada and Kandhamal have recorded above 40% deficit rainfall. In the southern Odisha district of Gajapati, the deficit has been as high as 60%.
Rainfall has been very erratic. Koraput has received surplus 5% of average rainfall by Wednesday whereas there has been deficit rainfall to the extent 44% in neighbouring district Rayagada, Nabarangpur (-29%) and Malkanagiri (-23%).
“Monsoon remained stationary in Himalayan region for which northeastern States received heavy rainfall in the month of July. There is indication of revival of monsoon within next four to five days,” he said.
Encouraged by widespread rain in the third and fourth week of June, farmers had begun their paddy crops. Prior to transplanting, they had raised seedlings in their nurseries. In absence of rain, the croplands are not suitable for transplantation of the seedlings.
Those, who had broadcasted dry-seed expecting its germination following spells of rainfalls, have kept their fingers crossed for revival of monsoon. If it does not rain soon, the germination might not take place, opined agricultural experts.
“We are now experiencing summer like situation. During this time around, we usually experience continuous rain, which helps in our farm operation. If similar situation persists for another week, Kharif crop is likely to suffer damage,” said Surendra Ojha, a farmer in Nagaberhampur village in Jagatsinghpur district.