11 Odisha districts record deficit rain

July 31st, 2012 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 31 (IANS) Eleven of Odisha’s 30 districts have recorded deficit rainfall this monsoon, impacting on paddy cultivation that is crucial for the economy of the state, officials said Tuesday.

While overall annual monsoon rainfall deficit in the state was 14 percent Monday, Balasore was worst hit with 45 percent deficit. Deogarh followed with 43 percent deficit, a Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre official told IANS.

By Monday, the state received 462.8 mm rainfall against the average of 540.4 mm for this time of the season, he added.

Odisha contributes about one-tenth of the country’s total rice produce. A good monsoon is crucial for the state as 73 percent of its work force is engaged in the agriculture sector.

The monsoon normally reaches the state by June 10. However, this year it was delayed by a week. As a result, paddy transplantation could not be taken up in several parts of the state.

The government was making region-specific contingency plans for farmers in case of a dry spell, said G.N. Mohanty, additional director of the state’s agriculture department.

The state government has also announced that it would provide 46,000 diesel pump sets to farmers located in dry pockets at 50 percent subsidy with a maximum limit of Rs.10,000 per pump, Mohanty told IANS.

It was also decided to provide 90 percent subsidy if farmers decide to install community borewells to save their crops, he added.

Fingers are crossed with the weather office forecasting heavy rains in the next two-three days.

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