Berhampur, May 6 (LocalWire): The path that Cyclone Fani traversed can easily be recognised by the destruction it caused. One can follow its trail by the debris, crushed crops, levelled villages and hapless refugees it left behind.
The only exception being Kharif farmers of Ganjam district, for whom the rains proved to be a boon.
The incessant rains under the influence of the cyclonic storm, brought cheer to the farmers in Ganjam as it will help them to start preparing for the Kharif crop on time on Akshaya Turtiya tomorrow, agriculture officials said.
The much needed rain will help the soil retain moisture, which will help the farmers to easily plough and to take early sowing and transplantation for the Kharif season, said deputy director of agriculture, Ganjam, Manoj Kumar Behera.
He said the pre-monsoon rains would also help the standing sesame crops in the district and the wet soil would help the flow of canal water to the crops.
‘If the rainfall continues for a few more days, it will help the farmers prepare the ground,’ said Sudhir Rout, a farmer.
Kharif crop plantation generally begins on Akshya Turtiya, while the sowing and transplantation takes place after the onset of the monsoon, in the last week of June or first week of July, he said.
Agriculture officials tentatively planned for paddy cultivation in 2.12 lakh hectares in Kharif 2019.
The area under paddy cultivation will be finalised in the district agriculture strategy committee meeting to be held in the last week of this month, said Behera.
The rains, however, were a bane to farmers with standing crops.
Officials said there were over 18,300 hectares of crops in the district before the cyclone hit.
Majority of these are vegetables with oil seeds (4927 hectares), cereals (585hectares) and pulses (162 hectares).
Paddy, sunflower and vegetable crops were severely damaged due to the gusty winds, said Behera.
The estimated damage to different crops was to 2692 hectares, sources said.