Kendrapara, May 13 (LocalWire): The untimely rains following Cyclone Fani damaged huge tracts of farmland and dashed all hopes of farmers of the coastal district of Kendrapada of a bumper summer paddy crop.
Complaints of crop damage have been pouring in from many villages of Aul, Mahakalapada, Rajnagar, Marsaghai, Rajkanika and Garadapur blocks of Kendrapara district.
‘The crop is in the harvesting stage and the next two to three weeks are very crucial. Farmers are worried that the paddy quality will deteriorate drastically since the crop is soaked,’ said Dibakar Sethi, a farmer from Palakana village.
‘We have lost Dalua paddy and what is worrying us is how we will return the bank loan,’ said Sidheswar Dalei, a farmer from Kora village.
‘Each year farmers from the coastal areas face crop loss due to flood, less rain, storm or unseasonable rain. But the authorities only pay lip service to the problems, said Gayadhar Dhal, the secretary of Kendrapara district unit of Krusaka Sabha.
Dhal demanded a survey of the damage caused to crops and appropriate compensation for the affected farmers.
The recent rains have already dealt a severe blow to the agricultural economy of the district by washing away Dalua paddy crops and farmers fear more losses if rainwater is not flushed out from their cultivable lands within a week, added Dhal.
Mitrodoya Das, the deputy director of agricultural department, Kendrapara, said, ‘Around 3.6 lakh people depend on agriculture in this district. Over 1.52 hectares is agricultural land. Only 1,43,390 farmers insured their 83,000 hectares of land.
Around 1.5 lakh farmers took loans from banks, cooperative societies and other organizations. As per our recent survey, 7000 hectares of paddy has been damaged in the cyclone. We will soon provide financial and other helps to the affected farmers.’