Report by Akshya Rout; Jajpur: Accustomed to cope with scorching heat in June , the farmers of Jajpur district on woke up to a pleasant morning with the sky covered with clouds accompanied by a gentle breeze and a light shower in the first week of July.
The rainfall brought down the maximum temperature to 27ºC, ten degrees below normal that prevails in the areas at this time of the year. Many other parts of the state witnessed cloudy condition, which was accompanied by rainfall.
THe district agricultural officer said : "This rainfall would be beneficial for the paddy crop. The monsoon is crucial for agricultural operations. Farmers dependent on monsoon rains should opt for long-duration crops such as sunflower, maize and red gram for better yield,".
With southwest monsoon reaching several areas , people enjoyed cloudy weather at many places and farmers rejoiced arrival of monsoon in the nick of time. Farmers who were apprehensive of irrigating their standing paddy saplings heaved a sigh of relief as rains came although a bit late, said Basanta Jena a farmer of Balichandrapur.
Erratic monsoon with scanty fall forces farmers to solely depend upon the canal water and ground water for raising paddy crop. Experts say the ground water level has been constantly falling for the last ten years thereby increasing the expenses of farmers with respect to electricity, water and fuel requirements.
The farmers said that with early showers, the cost of irrigation would be reduced, said Gayadhar Dhal a farmer of Chatia.
"Farmers have increased the area under cultivation. Besides lot of advantages have come along with the arrival of rains at the right time for the cultivation of paddy. I have been able to cut upon the expenditure involved in water and fuel for irrigation pumps has been reduced to almost half. As now we won't require generators to irrigate our lands", said Madan Mohan Jena a farmer of Bari.
As per the official estimates, about 300 villages of the district have been seriously affected due to fallen water levels. However, the experts predict that if monsoon continues like this, the farmers can a bumper crop .
In Jajpur district , the arrival of monsoon at this time have certainly proved to be a boon as the level of groundwater was constantly falling for last ten years. Besides the rising pressure on electricity in paddy and jute cultivation will also decrease. So the rains have certainly proved good for the paddy crop cultivation. The contemporary cropping pattern in coastal districts is dominated by paddy and jute cultivation, which cover the major portion of the gross cropped area, said Anil Samal the district collector of Jajpur.