Odisha move to offset impact of dry spell on agriculture

With more than 31% deficit in monsoon rainfall till August 23, farmers in Odisha are staring at a drought-like situation.

However, the State Government has moved to offset the impact of the prolonged dry-spell.

“This year, the State has received 50% less than average rainfall recorded by August. The deficit monsoon rain has grown by 31%,” it was informed at a review meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra here on Monday.

According to Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, shortfall in rainfall in 27 out of 30 districts has been measured at above 20%.

Jajpur worst-hit

As per India Meteorological Department norms, a State or a region is declared to have received deficit rainfall when the deficiency stands at 19% or above. Jajpur and Bhadrak are the worst-hit districts where deficit rainfall is 55% and 51% respectively.

Districts such as Keonjhar, Balangir, Angul and Gajapati have received 40% less rainfall than the average precipitation recorded by August 23.

The State government sources said the moisture level has come down drastically in 30 blocks in 15 districts of the State. It is difficult to carry on with paddy crop in the current kharif crop season.

Keeping the grim situation in mind, Mr. Mohapatra directed to keep all irrigation systems functional, ensure constant supply of power to all lift point and bore wells and expedite repair work so that water reaches tail-end of canals.

“All districts have been asked to prepare contingency plan taking panchayat and block as units. In blocks which recorded scarce rainfall, emphasis should be given on non-paddy crops. The seed corporation should make all seeds available,” the Chief Secretary instructed.

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