Kendrapara, April 2 (LocalWire): Unseasonal rain and hailstorm today caused extensive damage to large tracts of lentil and other crops and heavy losses to farmers across the coastal pockets of Kendrapara district.
Green gram saplings and other crops have been damaged by the untimely rain, said Gayadhar Dhal, secretary of the district unit of Krusaka Sabha.
The green grams are in the harvesting stage and the next two weeks are very crucial, said Jiban Das, a farmer from Garadapur.
‘The rain and hailstorm damaged two acres of black gram and green gram saplings and I suffered huge losses,’ said Giridhari Behera, a farmer from Patkura.
‘We have lost reaped crop. How will we return the bank loan is what is troubling us,’ said Natabara Jena, a farmer of Pattamundai.
The unseasonal rain and hailstorm has also severely damaged many betel farms. ‘Hundreds of betel leaves have been ruined by the incessant rain and hailstorm,’ said Narayan Mandal, a betel grower from Kandaripatana village.
Betel farmers are facing hard times because of the government’s indifference and non-implementation of various beneficiary projects, said Mandal. Neither the government nor any insurance companies extend help towards betel growers and as a result they have not been able to insure their farms, added Mandal.
Each year farmers here face crop loss due to flood, less rain or unseasonal rain. But the authorities pay only lip service to the problems.
Mitrodoya Das, the deputy director of agricultural department in Kendrapara said, ‘This year around 60,000 farmers raised green grams in 37,000 hectares of land. I have directed the block agriculture officers to submit a detailed report on the crop loss. After getting the report, we will assist the farmers who suffered crop loss.’