Odisha prepares for erratic monsoon

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, the country's seventh largest producer of paddy, has prepared a contingency plan to deal with deficient rains this monsoon.

"We have a contingency plan of corrective measures in collaboration with Odisha University of Technology," S. Santhanagopalan, director of the state's agriculture and food production department, told IANS.

"The plans are to deal with an early drought or a medium drought. Early drought means farmers can go for short duration paddy. Medium drought means farmers can go for pulses. But if the drought hits late, nothing can be done," he said.

The weather office has predicted the state may get below normal monsoon rain this season.

"If there is going to be an uniform six percent deficit over all over the state, we have nothing to worry. However, if there is a deficit in July, farmers will have to go for short duration paddy," he said.

The state has already witnessed a deficit rain in June. Although many places witnessed rain or thunder shower both Tuesday and Wednesday, the southwest monsoon, the life line of agriculture, is expected to hit the state in a day or two.

"We have started stocking short duration paddy for distribution to farmers if there is a failure in July," he said.

Odisha produced an all time high of 9.3 million tonnes of paddy in 2013-14 against six million tonnes it was producing about 10 years ago.

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