TODAY -

Deficit rainfall hits Ukhrul, Kamjong hard ; Farmers stare at poor harvest
Source: The Sangai Express / Mungchan Zimik

Ukhrul, August 26 2019: Climate change has directly affected rainfall pattern resulting in huge rainfall deficit and devasted agricultural lands constraining many farmers to forgo their annual paddy cultivation in Ukhrul and Kamjong districts.

Such is the situation that today farmers of Ukhrul and Kamjong districts are looking at the prospect of a sharp decline in crop production and a famine like situation seems inevitable in the two districts next year.



Deficit rainfall hits Ukhrul, Kamjong hard
Deficit rainfall hits Ukhrul, Kamjong hard


With the sharp decline in rainfall, farmers have mostly abandoned paddy cultivation staring at the bleak prospect of a poor harvest and acute food shortage for the people living in the villages.

According to reports from the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change there has been a gradual change in rainfall pattern in the State.

According to Brajakumar Deputy Director Environment and Climate Change, the rainfall deficit in pre-monsoon season followed by excess rain in the post monsoon period clearly shows a sharp deviation in the rainfall pattern.

In the hilly region, rain usually starts from early May and ends in October and the same pattern is also followed in the valley, but in the past few years excess rainfall has been recorded during October and November in the valley.

Brajakumar also said that there has been a sharp decline in rainfall this year.

In June, there was a shortfall of about 66% of rain which is otherwise the peak season for cultivation.

This is the reason why many hill districts of Manipur were unable to carry out annual agricultural activities, he added.

He said that one major factor for the change in rainfall pattern is deforestation.

Timely intervention and correction through extensive afforestation and rejuvenation of underground, spring water and wetlands to restore depleting environment and its changes is needed, he added.

During a brief interaction with some farmers of Ukhrul and Kamjong, Ningthar Longleng from northern Tangkhul village Varangngarei about 35 kms away from Ukhrul town said that he sold more than forty bags of potatoes in early June and earned more than Rs fifty thousand, but he could not cultivate his agricultural land for paddy transplantation due to water scarcity this year.

Another villager from Kachai village, Ringkahao said that the wet paddy field regularly fed by Iril river has run dry this year as the volume of water has reduced considerably as most of the tributaries ran dry with no rainfall this year.

The western villages neighbouring Senapati district, namely L Phungdhar, Tora, Maichon, Champhung, Leisan, Sinakeithei and Tingshong depend on Iril river for cultivation of paddy.

An elderly woman Nimreiphi mentioned that this year the working duration has been affected due to abnormal rise in mercury level, adding that the heat in day time coupled with no water has withered the transplanted crops.

District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Varechon following demand for alternative/compensatory crops in Ukhrul district, said the State Government has been approached to supply Rabi crop seeds at the earliest.

He said 54 metric tonne (Mt) of peas seeds, two Mt of Arhar, 30 Mt of Soya Beans and 2 Mt of broad beans for the farmers Ukhrul have been asked.

The DAO also mentioned that a project for construction of 50 check dams has been submitted to the State Government for storage of water in some of the perennial river for supply of water during lean season as well as water pump sets to continue non stop agricultural activities.


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