Rain deficit in the coal belt of JharkhandAccording to the local sources, it has been reported that the rain deficit in the coal belt of Jharkhand is likely to affect the paddy production in this year as stated by the District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Mr Dinesh Kumar Manjhi. It was also revealed that normally the district witnesses 313 mm of rain in July but this year there has been only 229.2mm rain till date. Further, in this matter, it has been narrated that Tundi block where the agriculture land is in abundance has registered the lowest rainfall this year in comparison to other blocks. Mr Manjhi also informed that the seedlings have been sown in only 16% of the target area of 43,000 hectares and farmers are eagerly waiting for better rainfall this week so that they can sow more seeds. It was added that almost all farmers of the district are dependent on the rain for agriculture as there is no other alternative to irrigate the crops.

Further, in a bid to improve agricultural production, the department is also preparing health cards of agricultural lands in all blocks of the district. It has also been described that the agricultural lands have been divided into 1,176 grids each in an area of 10 hectares and the department is taking soil samples from all the grids and checking it for its fertility. In this aspect, it has been informed that out of the total target of 1,176 grids, 931 samples have been collected and sent for check-up in Ranchi and reports of 616 grids have already been received by the department.

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According to the findings, the test reports revealed that there is acute deficiency of Nitrogen in the soil of Dhanbad. The department has suggested farmers to sprinkle Dolomite in their fields to increase nitrogen content in the soil. Dolomite which costs Rs2 per kg should be sprinkled in 2 quintals per hectare after every 2 years so as to keep the soil healthy for farming. In this regard, the department has already distributed 5,003 quintals of paddy seed across the district through Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS). Meanwhile, good quality seeds to farmers have also been distributed across the district and hope for adequate rainfall at the right time. It is anticipated that there will be a normal production of rice, if the district gets an adequate rainfall in the next 4-5 days, as told by Mr Manjhi.

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