Drought in Jaffna Peninsula, paddy crops in 10226 hectare affected
Jaffna Peninsula presently bracing a period of severe drought, as the monsoon failed and paddy crops cultivated this year in 10226 hectare affected badly, where the crops, as of today on an average of 72 days old and in the flowering stage.
Even though, there are no big tanks or ponds in the Peninsula large enough to irrigate paddy fields, but farmers who have small plots of land used to grow rice in their fields expecting regular rainfall.
The Jaffna farmer normally used to cultivate 31/2 months crop- At 362 and this crop is expected to be harvested by the second week of February.
Also a section of the farmers grow 41/2 month crops – normally the traditional Moddai Karuppan, Pachchai Perumal, Murungan, BG 406 etc. In this case, crops would be ready for harvest by March.
In the year 2014, paddy was cultivated in 10,737 hectare and the yield was around 3594 MT only. But in the year 2015 farmers cultivated 10,723 hectare and received a yield of 11,356 Metric Ton.
This year already 10226 hectare has been brought under paddy cultivation and crops are about to flower, but as the rain has failed, farmers fear there might be a complete crop failure.
It was predicted that there would be crop failure only in a selected 2400 hectare land, but due to the monsoon failure, but chances of crops in the entire paddy lands in the Peninsula might fail.
Jaffna farmers are helpless, as they are unable to irrigate their paddy fields as no tanks or ponds located around their paddy lands. Some of them try water their paddy fields by drawing water from tube wells, but that too is becoming an impossible option as there are no electricity connections available in their lands.
It is also suggested that arrangements may be taken to seed the clouds for rainfall. Will this option be heard by the authorities safeguard Jaffna farmers?
- Asian Tribune -