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1,50,777 hectares of cropland under floodwater


GUWAHATI, July 30 - The ongoing wave of floods has till date (July 29) affected 1,50,777 hectares of cropland in 21 districts of the State. The number of affected farmer families is 4,18,910 spread across 4,055 villages.

The break-up of the crop damage is: sali paddy � 1,02, 273 hectares, bao paddy � 12,955 hectares, boro paddy � 825 hectares, early ahu paddy � 1,742 hectares and regular ahu paddy � 320 hectares.

In terms of cropland, Barpeta remains the worst-affected district, accounting for an area of 23,871.5 hectares, followed by Sonitpur (19,405 hectares), Jorhat (15,525.44 hectares), Dhemaji (14,302 hectares) and Lakhimpur (13,255 hectares).

Revealing this, sources in the Agricultural Department told The Assam Tribune that it was the immediate assessment and that the actual extent of crop damage could be ascertained only after the water levels receded.

�This is one of the biggest floods in recent memory and the flood-induced crop damage is bound to be staggering. The actual magnitude of the damages would be assessed later on,� sources said.

Paddy apart, the damage to vegetables, jute, pulses, maize, sugarcane and other crops has been huge. As per official data, 10,045 hectares of vegetables, 15,089 hectares of jute, 1,263 hectares of maize, 110 hectares of pulses, 449 hectares of sugarcanes and various other crops over 5,706 hectares have been submerged by the floodwaters.

Hit by the reverses, the Agriculture Department is working on a plan that involves raising paddy seedlings � including late sali varieties in the eventuality of another wave of floods in August or September � to tide over the crisis.

�As directed by the Agriculture Minister, the department is preparing an action plan to mitigate the woes of the farmers and ensure that the farmers can cultivate sali paddy in the coming days. Sali seedlings, including late sali varieties, are to be readied in community nurseries comprising departmental farms and other high lands,� sources said.

Sources added that the sowing time in certain sali varieties can be altered, enabling the farmers to reduce the impact of possible floods. The department is also working on a plan ahead of the ensuing rabi season in October so that the sali damages suffered by the flood-affected farmers could be compensated to some extent.

�We are working on a war footing to implement the action plan. Seeds would be sown on community nurseries and high lands, and there will also be transfer of seedlings between villages,� sources said.

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