BERHAMPUR: THE overcast clouds followed by sporadic drizzling across Ganjam district on Tuesday created panic among farmers. The crop is ready for harvest and a few farmers have already gathered their crop while the remaining kept their heaps in the fields. Though the weathermen had forecast rain from Wednesday, the cloudy weather forced the panicked farmers to make arrangements for saving their standing crops.
Many farmers are worried that sudden rainfall at this crucial juncture would ruin their hard work. After the district sustained crop loss due to wild animal and pest attacks, the farmers’ hope to harvest the remaining paddy crops is fading with the gathering of clouds. At the last phase of farming, involving just another week’s work, the change in the weather is causing anxiety among farmers.
As per the advise of the administration to cut the paddy at ripening stage and keep the harvested crops at a safer place, crop cutting has been continuing in the district. A majority of the farmers have shifted their harvest to the shelters but scarcity of labour has become a major hindrance for them. With no option, many farmers were found covering their harvested paddy plants with polythene sheets on Tuesday.
Arjun Panda, a farmer of Chikiti, said the cutting of paddy at immature stage would reduce the paddy production as the husk quantity will be more. Moreover, a sizeable quantity of the paddy stored in the field itself is bound to become rotten as the same will remain in contact with water, he added.
Mangaraj Panda of Ganjam town said the crops in coastal areas are likely to be damaged, if it rains heavily. Similarly, the paddy plants at ripening stage cannot withstand wind speed of over 20 km/hour and would be grounded, he added.