Reported by Abhilash Hota
Balangir, July 9:
Scanty rains and shortage of paddy seeds, which has raised the spectre of drought in the area, has hit farmers in Loisingha block of Odisha’s Balangir district hard.
Most of the farmers in this block depend on cultivation of paddy for their livelihood. Out of 21,215 hectare of cultivable land in this block, paddy is cultivated in 10,300 hectare.
Farmers are crestfallenafter the paddy seedlings s sown by them in their fields went waste owing to lack of rains.
“We had sown whatever seeds we had. The seedlings have wilted in the fields due to the absence of rain. Since sufficient seeds are not available with the government agencies, drought is sure to occur. I don’t know what to eat in the coming months,” said a farmer of Loisingha block.
With their seed stocks exhausted and non-availability of sufficient quantities of seeds with government agencies, farmers are left high and dry in this drought prone block.
Assistant Agriculture Officer, Loisingha, Jogesh Behera has admitted to shortage of paddy seeds with government agencies.
“Irregular rains have led to wilting of seedlings in paddy fields, exhausting the seed stock of farmers. Unavailability of sufficient quantities of seeds at the government level is causing hardships to farmers,” said Behera.