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Farmers in Odisha Begin Early Harvest Due to Fear of Cyclone Jawad

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Cyclone Jawad approaching Odisha coast

The formation of a low-pressure area in the south Andaman Sea will intensify into a depression and will move towards the coast of Odisha as a cyclonic storm ‘Jawad’ on 4th December, i.e. today.

Cyclone Jawad is likely to hit Odisha this weekend only and farmers across the state are now resorting towards an early harvest and distress sale of paddy.  

According to the regional meteorological department “The low-pressure area forming in the south Andaman Sea will intensify into a depression and move towards the Odisha coast as a cyclonic storm on December 4. The Odisha government has asked collectors to prepare for evacuation from 13 districts.” 

Jawad will be the third cyclone in Odisha this year. The storm is likely to make landfall near Puri.  

Towards mid-December, farmers are preparing to harvest paddy as mandis are slated to open towards the end of the month. Debendra Rout, a resident of Churmura village in Jaleswar block of Balasore district said “First Yaas, the unseasonal rains in the pre-harvest season and now another cyclonic storm, we have hardly had time to recover from each setback….Paddy is yet to ripen completely but we are forced to harvest it early.”

Milin das, a farmer of Sohoda village of Bhadrak district, which is prone to flooding, said, “Back to back crop damage will leave us with heavy debt. The produce this year has been nearly 40 percent lower than usual.” 

Farmers of Ganjam and Gajapati districts have resorted to the distressed sales of paddy to avoid losses. Shanker Dakwa of Pandiripada village of Ganjam said, “We either let the crops stand and be destroyed or harvest them prematurely.” 

The government has set the paddy procurement price at Rs 1,940 per quintal for the current year. But, farmers are resorting towards selling their produce at Rs 900-1000 per quintal along with the losses. 

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