Berhampur, Dec 17 (LocalWire) With severe Cyclone Phethai all set to make a landfall in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on Monday, farmers in Ganjam, one of the major paddy growing districts in Odisha, are now worried about their crops.
These farmers have already suffered heavy losses due to Cyclone Titli and subsequent floods that hit the state in October.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast mild to moderate to heavy rainfall from Monday in southern Odisha districts, including Ganjam and Gajapati under the influence of the cyclonic storm.
Panicked over the possible heavy rains, several farmers were seen cutting paddy hurriedly in the district with drizzlinng started Monday morning.
“I have already lost the crop due to floods in Rushikulya river, following the pest attack. If it rains in next one to two days, rest of the crops will be completely destroyed,” said Simanchal Gouda of Purushottampur, who is yet to cut the crops.
“I could not cut the crop due to the shortage of labours,” said Sushant Muni of Belaguntha
“Due to possible rains, as predicted by the Met, I have cut the crop early this year,” said Nira Mohanty, a farmer in Balipada under Kukudakhandi block.
Like Nira, several other farmers in the district were seen cutting their crops early this year.
Paddy was cultivated in around 2.08 lakh hectares of land in the district. The district administration has estimated the crop loss in an area of over 1.88 lakh hectares due to Cyclone Titli and floods.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Ganjam Manoj Behera said majority of farmers have already cut their crops.
“There is only 10 to 15 percent crop left uncut. The farmers need to keep the cut crops in safer places,” he said.
Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies (DRCS) Ganjam Sushant Panda said they advised the farmers to keep the ripened paddy in the godowns of Regulatory Marketing Cooperative Societies (RMCS) and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS).
Besides, the tarpaulins have also been provided to the farmers through RMCS to cover harvested crops at threshing yards, he said.