BHAWANIPATNA/BALANGIR: Rabi paddy crop in several acres of land have been damaged in Kalahandi and Balangir districts due to low pressure induced rains on May 25 and 26.
In Kalahandi district, paddy was grown in 65,409 hectares (ha) of land. Of this, 61,388 ha is under irrigation coverage of Indravati. The Agriculture Department had expected production of 35 lakh quintals of rabi paddy and the crops were in various stages of harvesting.
As per an assessment of the department, about 30 per cent of paddy crops including those already harvested have been damaged in the rain. The affected pockets are Junagarh, Kalampur, Jaipatna and Dharamgarh blocks that are irrigated by Indravati.
For procurement of rabi paddy, 55 procurement centers have been opened. But, only 19 centres have store rooms where paddy can be kept. The rest do not even have sheds. Although farmers had demanded that all the procurement centres should be provided necessary infrastructure in wake of untimely rain, no step has been taken so far.
There has also been delay in procurement process. As on today, registration of farmers at the procurement centres is on and they are issued tokens.
According to sources in Civil Supply Department, only 1000 quintals of paddy were purchased in Kalampur block till Monday.
In Balangir, the rain damaged paddy crop in over 500 acres of land. Sources said most of these crops were harvested and kept in the open for threshing. The most affected areas are Bangomunda, Khaprakhol, Titlagarh, Loisingha and Deogaon.
Antaram Rajput, a farmer of Antapali village, said he had cultivated paddy in more than 10 acres of land and after harvesting, he had kept the stock in the open. The entire stock was washed away in the rain.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Balangir, Manoranjan Mallick said the department will submit an assessment report on damaged crop to the Government soon.