Berhampur, Dec 18 (LocalWire) Farmers in Ganjam, one of the major paddy producing districts in Odisha, bore the brunt of the unseasonal rains under the influence of Cyclone Phethai, which made a landfall in Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
Several standing paddy crops, which are about to be harvested have been damaged due to the rains, said farmers on Tuesday.
The crops, which were cut and gathered in the threshing yard for final processing, have also been damaged in the rains.
“Though we were very much aware of the impending cyclone and rain, we could not cut the crops due to shortage of labourers,” said former state Assembly speaker and senior Congress leader Chintamani Dyansamantara.
He said paddy crops across 100 acre land in his village Bomakai under Patrapur block were damaged.
Farmer Sudhira Rout of Baiganabadi in Kukudakhandi block said though he had cut the crop from the fields, could not shift them to a safer place due space constraints. The crops not covered as he had no tarpaulins.
Several farmers in the district, who had already suffered huge loss at the time of Cyclone Titli and subsequent floods in the district in October, described heir plights due to the unseasonal rains.
“The economic backbone of the farmers in the district was broken due to these natural calamities,” said Samira Pradhan, secretary, Ganajm district sugar cane growers’ association.
“The government should come out to bailout the farmers at this juncture,” said Dyanasamantara. .
Paddy was cultivated in around 2.08 lakh hectare of land in the district.
The district administration has estimated crop loss in an area of over 1.88 lakh hectare due to Cyclone Titli and aftermath floods.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Ganjam Manoj Behera said majority of farmers in the district have already cut their crops and stocked them in safer places. Presently, they said, there are only 15 to 20 percent standing crop.
“These crops will be damaged in the rains,” he said.