Farmers wary of cyclonic rains

Balugaon/Bhatli: Farmers in the state expressed concern over rainfall, trigged by landfall of cyclonic storm Phethai, which began Monday morning.

Paddy farmers whose crop is being harvested or has been harvested and kept in the field for processing are seen trying to save their grains from the rain. While light to moderate rainfall is expected to hit the state, thousands of hectares of standing crop are likely to be damaged due to cyclone-induced rain.

December being the harvesting season for Kharif paddy, some farmers have harvested their grain and some have not harvested their standing crop. Many farmers are still harvesting their grain.

Panicked farmers who had kept their stocks in the field to dry after reaping have dumped paddy bags at mandis for procurement, fearing damage due to untimely rain. Many farmers even did not get enough time to shift their paddy from fields to safer places and some could not cover their paddy stacks.

Some farmers are struggling to save their harvest in threshing grounds. Farmers were seen trying to cover their threshed paddy with polythene to protect it from rain. Some farmers have left harvesting half-way fearing the paddy crops would be damaged in heavy rain.

The sudden rainfall has been giving sleepless nights to the farmers who are yet to recover from the losses suffered due to Titli. While the sky remained overcast in many parts, gusty wind along with rain affected life in some parts.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Bhatli in Bargarh district after a few farmers, who had dumped their paddy mandis, alleged that no step has been taken to protect their produce from the unseasonal rain. The farmers had to cover polythene sheets over their paddy to protect it from rain. They expressed resentment as their paddy had no takers at the mandis.

They feared their produce would get damaged after getting wet and they won’t be able to sell it. They demanded that their paddy bags be lifted from the mandis to a safety before they get drenched. They urged the administration to store their paddy in nearby sheds until the rain stops.

Although there is no threat to Odisha, the IMD has predicted heavy rainfall in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Kandhamal, Ganjam and Gajapati districts. The state government had asked the district administrations to take necessary steps to protect the paddy at the mandis.

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