Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Dharmagarh, June 5:
Nor’wester has ruined banana crops in hundreds of acres in Dharamgarh sub division of Odisha’s Kalahandi district leaving planters high and dry.
While farmers who had taken loans for the crops are crestfallen with no means to repay their loans, Horticulture department officials said field inquiry of the damage was on and a report in this regard will be sent to the government on completion of the inquiry.
Farmers had undertaken banana plantation in two hundred acres in Dharamgarh sub division under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), State Plan etc..
In around 70 percent of the area where plantation was undertaken, plants are lying on the ground before the crop could mature and be harvested leaving farmers worried on how to repay their loans with their earning lost to the storm.
“I had cultivated banana crop on five acres of land. Everything has been ruined. Last year the crop was damaged due to Hudhud. We had thought of recovering that loss from this year’s crop. But we have lost everything. What more can I say? I had spent around Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 on each acre. I don’t have the strength to repay the loans I had taken to grow the crop,” said Dinabandhu Sahu, a banana cultivator.
“Everything has been damaged by the winds and rains. With earnings from the crop, we would have paid for the studies of our children. We had taken loans for the crop. Now we are thinking how to repay loans, leave apart our labour and earnings,” said Kumud Sahu, another farmer.
While admitting that the crop has been damaged, the assistant director of Horticulture department Kishore Kumar Mahalik said that the department would send a report to the government in this regard.
“Our field staffs are conducting a survey of the damage. Most of them had availed loans for the crop. After reports are available and losses calculated, we will send a report to the district collector. Last year too, it had happened the same way during Hudhud last year. We had sent a report to the government,” said Mahalik.