NALBARI, June 25 � A drought-like situation is prevailing in Nalbari district following rainless conditions since the last few days which has affected the farmers� ability to start their sali cultivation. Till the last part of June, the farmers of this agriculture-based district who are dependent on the rains have failed to plant the sali crops.
According to sources in the Agriculture department, out of 65,000 hectare of sali crop area in the district, only 20 per cent has been covered by sali paddy. The covered sali paddy is also starting to wilt due to the dry weather. The assistant director of the Agriculture department of the district Manjit Talukdar told this correspondent that out of 12 deep tubewell irrigation schemes in the district, seven schemes have been lying idle since a long time. On the other hand the schemes which are operating in the district, are only working intermittently.
A senior scientist of the Nalbari Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Dr Ramani Thakuria said that of the 65,000 hectares of sali crop area, the farmers have planted the �Ranjit� variety of rice in around 52,000 hectares. In order to cover this area the farmers prepared seedlings for around 6,500 hectares but these seedlings will get damaged due to the drought-like situation. He added that if the situation continues for another week, more than 1,14,000 farmer families of Nalbari district will be badly affected.
According to sources in the Statistics department of the Agriculture department, the rainfall in June this year has been very less compared to the previous year. Till June 23, the total rainfall recorded in Nalbari district was only 50.4 mm. However, in June 2010 there was 960.4 mm rain. Since 2003, the month of June has recorded minimum rainfall . The June month rainfall in Nalbari district since 2003 is as follows: 2003: 640.5 mm, 2004: 541.0 mm, 2005: 206.7 mm, 2006: 414.5 mm, 2007: 334.4 mm, 2008: 439.4 mm, 2009: 285.6 mm, 2010: 960.4 mm, 2011: 050.3 mm (upto June 23).
A senior scientist, Dr Hemendra Bhattacharyya told this correspondent that the monsoon basically enters the State before June 3 but this time it has been delayed. He added that due to the surplus rainfall last year, the production of rice was very encouraging. According to this assessment there is 30 per cent shortfall in normal June rainfall.
As the Agriculture department has taken no step for the drought-affected farmers, the farmers of Jagara area in Nalbari district have organised frog marriages for inviting rain.