Odisha Expects Bumper Paddy Crop This Kharif

Bhubaneswar: Odisha appears poised to reap a bumper paddy harvest this kharif season as overall crop condition has been normal and monsoon is still active in the state, reports said on Tuesday.

Hopeful of a bumper crop for the second consecutive year in view of favourable consitions, the state government has set a target of procuring 71 lakh tons of paddy during the current kharif marketing season starting October 1.

Barring a few pockets where pest attacks were reported, early, medium and late duration paddy crops are stated to be in a good condition across the state, according to reports received by the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production from districts.

While early variety of paddy is in maturity stage and harvesting is likely to begin within a week, medium and late duration paddy are in panicle and tillering stage respectively, sources said.

Farm experts as well as officials in the agriculture department are of the view that further rainfall as forecast by the IMD will be of immense help for the crop.

Though 13 per cent deficit rainfall was recorded in September, shower in different parts of the state in the next few days under the influence of a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal will benefit the farmers, they maintained.

While over 12,000 hectare of paddy crop area in the state is affected by pest attack of moderate intensity, around 27,000 hectare are hit by low intensity bacterial leaf blight (BLB), blast, brown plant hopper (BPH) and gundi bug. Most of the affected areas have been treated with pesticides, sources said.

Despite deficient rainfall in June and flood in 13 districts in September, area covered under paddy cultivation has exceeded the area proposed to be covered during the current kharif season. The Agriculture department has planned 35 lakh hectare for paddy crop this kharif and the actual area covered has gone up to  35.16 lakh hectare.

However, non-paddy crops like pulses and oilseeds were stated to have been affected in some parts of the state because of excess rainfall in second week of September.

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