By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest weather report said that the cyclone will spare Odisha and move towards West Bengal or Bangladesh coasts, farmers of coastal districts have resorted to ‘panic harvest’ fearing crop loss.

Harvest of short duration paddy crops has just begun, farmers do not like to take any chance particularly after the office of the Special Relief Commissioner issued cyclone alert to the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Balasore districts.

However, in its forecast, IMD says coastal districts of the State are likely to experience moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by gale wind with a speed from 50-60 km per hour from October 23 reaching to 70-80 kmph on October 25.

With cyclone Fani fresh in the mind and confused over many changes in the weather reports, farmers are more concerned that incessant rains under the influence of the impending cyclone may sabotage their chances of a substantial harvest. As a result, many of them have started harvesting immature paddy crops to avoid it getting damaged.

Report coming in from Jajpur district, which has not been issued any warning by the State administration, said that farmers of the district have gone for panic harvest of paddy crops that were not fully matured. Similar reports also coming from districts which are likely to be affected by the cyclonic system.

Some farmers of the district said it will be difficult to harvest paddy crops after lodging (bending over of the stems near ground level of grain crops). Curiously, the Agriculture department which issued weekly report on crop weather situation is silent for the last three weeks.

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