Inadequate rainfall during the kharif season has led to drought-like situation in Orissa's Ganjam district as several thousand hectares of paddy crops experienced moisture stress.
Preliminary reports of the state agriculture department said that moisture stress had been noticed in about 15,036 hectares, mostly cultivated in high land areas.
However, sources claimed that over 50 per cent of crop had already withered due to lack of rain and irrigation facility.
The district experienced less precipitation this year except in August-September. In October there was a meagre 27.40 mm rainfall against 177 mm last year causing moisture stress, official reports said.
Normal rainfall was essential in October for bumper kharif crop.
Last year, there was 1298.19 mm rainfall against noraml rainfall of 1275.29 mm in the district.
Altogether 22.35 lakh hectares had been covered for paddy cultivation in the district and the yield was 7,83,368 metric tonnes.
The department had set the target to produce 7,85,795 metric tonnes of paddy this year, the sources said, adding if the present situation continued for a week more, the yield would drastically reduce.
The blocks facing moisture stress included Rangeilunda, Sanakhemundi, Digapahandi, Kukudakhandi, Bhanjanagar, Chikiti, Patrapur, Ganjam, Chhatrapur, Buguda, Jagannathprasad, Khallikote and Belaguntha.