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Farmers pray for no rain, literally

People normally pray for good rain. But in a few villages of Chhattisgarh this year, it is a different story.

R Krishna Das  |  Kolkata/ Raipur 

Dhansai Singh, a small farmer in Pithora block of Mahasamund district, is praying that there should not be more at least for a week. For, heavy that lashed a few parts of with the onset of monsoon a week ago had now baffled the It would severely affect the sowing work.

"When it rained, we were happy that it would be another good monsoon," said Singh. But when it continued unabated, it started creating tension for them. "Now, we are praying that there should not be further rain in the region as it will badly affected the sowing work due to water in the field," he added. According to weather experts, in were not ready for the agriculture work and had not prepared the field for sowing. The monsoon rain that normally struck after June 10 had reached three days earlier. The rain continued contrary to the normal practice of a break.

The average rainfall for the month according to 1971-2000 normals is 196.4 mm and the number of rainy days is 9.5. The figure had been achieved well with the onset of the monsoon. As of now, Chhattisgarh had received more than 200 mm of rain. "After the initial rain, there is normally a break that provides to prepare the field and accelerate the agriculture work," Sanket Thakur, an agriculture scientist, said. The fields had been filled with water that would create problem for farmers and delay sowing work, he added.

The situation would take another twist if the climatic condition in the state remained the same for another few days. "If dry spell failed to come in another 4-5 days, it would not be a good sign for the farmers," Virendra Pandey, farmer's leader, said. However, it would be too early at this juncture to comment on the final yield on the kharif production, he added. The state government had set a target to take kharif crops in 4.82 million hectare of area-about 56,000 hectare more than the targeted kharif acreage of last year. Of it, paddy would be sowed in 3.97 million hectare of area with the government setting a target to produce 7.5 million tonnes of paddy. The paddy production target was earlier set at 7 million tonnes. Since the buoyant rains last year resulted in bumper paddy production with state surpassing the target of 6.5 million tonnes by 500,000 tonnes, the authorities were forced to revise the target for 2013 and set it at 7 million tonnes.

First Published: Sun, June 16 2013. 21:12 IST