Kendrapara, September 6 (LocalWire): Large tracts of paddy fields are still under knee deep water after the floodwater has started receding from the worst-hit areas of Aul, Pattamundai, Marsaghai, Derabishi and Rajkanika blocks of Kendrapara district.
“The flood has completely shattered the rural economy of the district as almost all the paddy saplings were damaged in the flood.
A large number of farmers spent huge money to raise the paddy saplings. But their fate is now at stake as the flood water damaged everything,” said Sarat Sahoo of Manapur village under Rajkanika block.
“We were expecting a bumper paddy crop as we received good rain during the planting of the paddy saplings three months ago.
But our hopes were dashed due to the recent floods which damaged the paddy saplings,” said Akhil Das, a farmer of Gobindapur under Aul block.
“I was shocked after seeing my agricultural field. I raised paddy on my four acres of land three months back and hoped to harvest it in November. But, the flood water damaged all the paddy,” said Prafulla Nayak of Patarapur village under Aul block.
The flood has also affected sugarcane and jute often grown as secondary crops while rice is regarded as the main “food grain”.
Apart from affecting food grains, the flood has also taken a toll on vegetables in many areas making these essentials expensive.
“The recent floods have come as a bolt from the blue and left us devastated.
My three-acre paddy field has been inundated and I find no way to recover from the crisis,” said Ratikanta Pradhan, a farmer of Taradipala village under Pattamundai block.
Sand–cast is a major problem in many flood-affected areas as the flood water deposited sands on the agricultural land.
It would take farmers another year to clear the sands from their land, said Ranjan Das of village Benipur under Derabishi block.
“It is a difficult time for the farmers now. When the flood water receded, farmers found to their dismay that their paddy saplings were rotten.
The impact of the crop losses will surely be felt on the economy of farmers and they will find it hard to recover from this blow,” said Umesh Chandra Singh the secretary of the district Krusaka Sabha.
Due to non-availability of flood-tolerant paddy seeds, the farmers of the flood-hit villages suffer crop loss every year.
Three decades ago, many farmers used to raise traditional flood-tolerant paddy seeds to save their crops from the floodwater.
But, now-a-days, almost all the farmers depend on the seeds supplied by the agriculture department as a result they suffer during the flood, added Singh.
When contacted Ashok Mahasuar the Chief District Agriculture Officer (CDAO) of Kendrapara said, “We directed the block agriculture officers (BAOs) and village agriculture workers (VAWs) to submit a detailed report about the crop loss due to flood.
After getting the report, we will provide all types of help to the affected farmers.”