MALDA, 31 AUG: The production of ‘Aman’ paddy in Malda has faced a formidable loss this year owing to terrible spell of drought at the ‘Barind’ areas of the district. Gazole, Habibpur and Bamangola blocks, which usually contribute largely to the production of ‘Aman’ paddy, were susceptible to terrible drought this year. It has been learnt from the sources in the agricultural department that compared to last year, cultivation of ‘Aman’ paddy has been done in less quantity of land this year. There was no cultivation of ‘Aman’ in about 12241 hector land out of which 6782 hector land remained barren at the ‘Baind’ blocks only. Scarcity of water has affected the cultivation of jute and vegetables also at these blocks.
Interestingly enough, flood played havoc at northern Malda which could have compensated for the deficit in ‘Aman’ production at ‘Barind’ areas. Ratua I and Harischandrapur II which are considered to be “repository of grains” in Malda have succumbed to severe inundation. Crops in thousands of bighas of paddy and jute fields have been eroded resulting in immense loss in cultivation.
Common people are anticipating that the elephantine loss in cultivation in the district will have an adverse effect on the price of food grains particularly before the ensuing festive seasons. The farmers, who have suffered the loss, are also suffering from anxiety.
The district magistrate of Malda Mr Pramal Kumar Samanta said that to meet the crisis, he has already held a number of meetings with the officials of the concerned departments. Mr Samanta said: “We are keeping a strict vigil so that black marketers cannot exploit the situation.” He said that the production of food grain in Malda will be less owing to drought, erosion and inundation. He also informed that the banks have been requested to linger the term of short-term loans. “The farmers are being encouraged in alternative cultivation”, he said.