*Representational picture shows a farmer in his green field.
Every time 42- year old Kishun Manjhi looks at the sky, his wife Indu prays for early ploughing of the land.
Manjhi is among lakhs of small farmers in Jharkhand who cultivate paddy to elk out their living in rainfed lands of Jharkhand. For all of them, unseasonal rain and hail almost every day during the past week in this peak of summer (in mid May) has left them worried.
" In absence of heat,the soil is not dry.On top of it,hovering clouds and rains have caused growth of insects in soil. This has made ploughing the land easy, but harmful for sowing of paddy", said Dhinu Oraon, a farmer in Ratu block of Ranchi.
Aware of the farmers' woes, Union Tribal Welfare and Development Minister has written a letter to Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren stating that unseasonal rains will have adverse impact on agriculture.
Met Department has predicted that rain is going to fall till end of next week May 20. If it's prediction comes true, paddy growing farmers will be severely hit, it is learnt from the state Agriculture Department officials.
As it is,sowing of paddy normally takes place after ploughing of land ends during May15-May 30." This time, due to unseasonal rain, ploughing will not help us sow paddy in time and as such we can't even hope for a bumper harvest", cribs Ranu Mahto, another farmer.
Yet, in his letter, Munda has appealed to the CM Soren to make available paddy seeds to farmers as soon as possible."If these paddy seeds are not provided now, farmers will face untold miseries", writes Munda.
The state administration seems to be busy tackling COVID-19 challenge.However, the Disaster Management Department has released Rs 25 Lakh for each of 24 districts as compensation for farmers whose crops were destroyed by the recent rain and hailstorm.
Asked if the government has any plan to tackle the emergent problem being faced by farmers due to unseasonal rain, Disaster Management Minister Banna Gupta replied in affirmative."We are making an action plan."