Scanty monsoon hits farming in Orissa

July 22nd, 2010 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 22 (IANS) Scanty monsoon rains have affected agriculture in Orissa, a state that contributes almost one-tenth of India’s rice output, an official said Thursday.
The kharif (autumn crop) activities have slowed down because the rains in the state since June are 36 percent less then the average, the official of the state agriculture department said.

“If the state does not receive adequate rains during next five-six days, farming operations are likely to be more affected across the state,” the official told IANS.

Last year, 3,264 villages in 15 of the state’s 30 districts faced a drought due to the poor monsoon.

This year, the government has ambitious plans to produce 63.88 lakh tonnes of rice on about 36.50 lakh hectares, against last year’s production of 62.93 lakh tonnes on 41 lakh hectares.

According to the meteorological centre here, the southwest monsoon arrived in Orissa June 13. However in June, the state witnessed 32 percent less rains compared to the average it was supposed to receive, the official said.

Similarly in July until now, the state has received 40 percent less rain than expected, he said.

Despite inadequate rainfall, paddy has already been sowed in 17.92 lakh hectares by July 17 against last year’s 16.63 lakh hectares, he said.

At least 17 of state’s 30 districts have so far received 30 to 50 percent less than normal rains this year by now. As a result of this, paddy seedlings are drying out in several areas and there has been no much progress in planting activities, he said.

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