Drought fear looms large in State
Light to moderate rainfall occurrence in most parts of the State ever since the onset of monsoon season has become a cause of concern for the farmers including those associated with the Agro based industries. Agro-Met experts have expressed their apprehension over the increasing deficit level that was expected to get breached in mid-July. With rainfall deficit level constantly mounting up and no heavy rainfall in the sight for another few days, several agricultural activities have come to a standstill severely affecting the present farming practice.
According to Agro-met expert of Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), A Wadood, looking at the present situation no transplantation activities can be taken up now. “Farmers should go for direct sowing of crops like maize, paddy, ragi, pulses including nursery plants on uplands and medium lands considering the moisture content. For transplantation, farmers have to wait for heavy rainfall activity. Meanwhile, if light rainfall continues for long duration, system of rice intensification can be adopted by the farmers as it does not require stagnant water.”
Further, talking about the coverage area, the Agro- Met Expert added, “As per the given target, by far, paddy cultivation has been completed only in two lakh hectares against the target of 18 lakh hectares. Merely 10 to 11 per cent coverage has been done due to lopsided downpour. The situation is worrisome for farmers.”
The rainfall statistics released by MET Observatory Centre – Ranchi on Saturday suggested – 41 per cent deficit from June 1 to July 14. According to the data, 346.2 mm rainfall, so far, is categorized in the normal category, however, the State, till date had recorded merely 204.1 mm rainfall ever since the onset of rainy season.
According to the rainfall data, maximum deficit level was registered in Khunti district with - 82 per cent rainfall. Khunti recorded merely 74.5 mm rainfall while 408.7 mm rainfall is considered normal for the respective district. Similarly, Chatra (-76 per cent deficit) including Koderma (- 74 per cent deficit) districts had recorded lowest rainfall from June 1 to July 14, 2018. About 1092 mm rainfall throughout the monsoon season is categorized in the normal or above normal category for Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, as per the prediction of weathermen, diversion of low pressure system to central and southern parts of the country has resulted in slow advancement of South-West (SW) monsoon towards Jharkhand. “Due to distraction of low pressure system formation at Bay of Bengal to other parts of India, only light to moderate rainfall will occur for another one week in the most parts of the State. Though monsoon is not weak yet rainfall activities are expected to increase only after July 20, covering up the deficit level to an extent,” said Senior Scientist, MET Observatory Centre – Ranchi, RS Sharma.
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