Deputy Relief Commissioner Prabhat Ranjan Mahapatra visited Nuapada district on Wednesday to review the drought situation as well as to discuss about the drought report of the current agricultural season of the district submitted to the State authority.
Conducting a meeting with the district level officials at Nuapada, Mahapatra wanted to know why in spite of irrigation coverage of 35 per cent, the district suffered crop loss of more than 80 per cent as reported by the district authority.
According to report of agriculture department, paddy had been cultivated in 82,000 hectares of land during 2015 Kharif season and out of this 80 per cent was damaged due to lack of rain.
As the district has an irrigated area of 35 per cent, so the question here is whether the irrigated areas have also suffered crop loss during the current season. The Relief Commissioner also analysed the rainfall data of Komna block for the month of July-August and asked why crops in this block failed although the total rainfall was normal.
Answering the quarries, the DDA, Nuapada, informed in the meeting that, except the Jonk irrigation project all other medium and small irrigation projects in the district have performed much below their potentials. Even a medium irrigation project like Upper Jonk irrigation project irrigated only 300 hectares of land in Nuapada block, where as its potential is about 2,000 hectares.
About failure of crop in Komna block, the DDA said that total rainfall during July-August was normal, but it did not rain when the farmers needed it to do their agricultural operations. The precipitation was very low between July 15 and August 15, which was the appropriate period for transplantation and Beusaning.
Sub Collector Sarat Chandra Srichandan clarified in the meeting about the discrepancies in data on land classification i.e. why the quantity of medium and low lands reported in the drought report was higher than the existing revenue data of the district. He said that the data on different quality of land available with the district administration is more than two decades old and some of the Aat land (Up land)have been converted in to medium land and the medium land (known Berna/Bahali/Mal) has converted in to low lands in these years through land development activities by farmers. Due to regular conversion, the coverage of paddy has gradually increased and thus the report on loss of paddy area submitted now differs from the existing data.
ADM Trilochan Minz, Nuapada Tehsildar Priyabrata Padhi and Deputy Collector Chandrahas Naik also attended the meeting.