Jamshedpur: The forecast weak monsoon rain this season has raised the concerns of the Met department and farmers.
The worry is that the lack of rainfall will not only makes the temperature harsh but also will affect the agricultural productivity of several vegetables that are grown in Patamda block.
While on a normal year, the fields would be full and lush green by July, this year the sight is a jumble of fully-planted and half-planted fields. And then, there are fields that are not ploughed at all. That is what the lack of rains has done to the farmers.
Some had sown their entire fields and are now totally depend on the mercy of the rain god. Others have left some land unsown and are undecided about when to sow the remaining seedlings.
According to information only 15 per cent sowing had taken place in fields compared to over 50 per cent during this period of the year due to insufficient rainfall.
The state capital Ranchi, which recorded average 615 mm rainfall during this period registered only 189 mm this year, Gumla 259 mm compared to average 792 mm, Simdega 648 mm to 265 mm, East and West Singhbhum average rainfall 687mm and 528 mm registered 254 and 164mm.
The officials of local Met office said that with rain clouds playing hide and seek for over a fortnight, it would be difficult to predict when the monsoon rains will arrive. The officials added that though last year the area had witnessed heavy but this season it has been badly hit.
Most other farmers in the belt find themselves in a similar fix. They have transplanted the seedlings to most of the fields and have done everything they can do but yet find themselves in a rough situation their crops depend so much on water.
“I had seeds of vegetables and tended to them to the best of my abilities and have done everything that was within my control. Then it rained a bit three days ago and it gave us a bit of hope.
But that did not last long as it hasn’t rained after that,” 65-year-old Nikha Manjhi, a farmer of Patamda.
“There are no rains, no water in the ground water. The deep boring has dried up as the ground water has decreased.
Only if it rains, the water level will grow and people like us can survive. Moreover water
level in rivers is causing much concern to the people,” said Mohammed Nizam, a resident of Jugsalai.
“This year not only has the monsoon played truant, the price rise situation has worsened our situation.
The previous year, the monsoons were exceptionally good.
The next year, people rushed and sowed all their seedlings at the first excuse of rains. But it did not rain enough. This is the toughest period we ever faced in the past decade. Without rains, the corps will be wasted even if I plant them now,”conceded another farmer.
In effect, despite the farmer and the government claiming to have done everything that they can, it depends of the mercy of rain god.