LAKHIMPUR: After ravaging flood, an alarming drought-like situation has hit North Assam for a period of almost 20 days of late. This situation has affected Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur and Dhemaji districts of North Assam causing a possible negative impact on the agricultural productivity in the region.
Notably, there was no adequate precipitation during a period of 20 days in Lakhimpur after the fortnight long flood had receded in the district. During these days, the continuous scorching heat of the sun has affected the normal life increasing in the mercury level. Though the northern part of Lakhimpur witnessed a light shower of rain at mid-day on Tuesday, it was not enough to wet the dry lands of the district.
Due to this situation, water in vast areas of crop land, besides the shallow paddy fields of the district, is getting dry day by day. The drought-like situation has hit most of the paddy fields under North Lakhimpur, Naoboicha, Bihpuriya, Narayanpur, Kadam and Dhakuakhana revenue circles under the district. It is worth mentioning that paddy was cultivated in most of those fields after the flood in the last month had receded. But the drought-like situation has affected the newly-planted paddy plants before they could yield expected production in the harvesting season.
Simultaneously, most of the paddy fields of the district have been attacked by rice hispa, a kind of harmful insect that sucks the crop. But the matter of concern is that the District Agriculture Department has not taken any steps to assess the paddy fields which suffer from the severe want of adequate water to grow the plants. Similarly, the Lakhimpur Irrigation Division, which has become a white elephant in the district, has also not taken any move to provide respite to the farmers. The affected farmers demanded both departments to initiate due steps to tackle the problems before the situation turn to bad from worse.
In addition to Lakhimpur district, hundreds of hectares of crop lands are under the severe effect of the recent drought-like situation in different places under Sonitpur, Biswanath and Dhemaji district of North Assam. The Agriculture offices and Irrigation divisions of those districts are allegedly still unmoved regarding the prevailing issue.
However, the Chief Scientist of the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Assam Agriculture University, North Lakhimpur, Dr. Prabal Kumar Saikia expressed concern while this correspondent contacted with him on Thursday with regard to the alarming issue. “Because of drastic weather fluctuations these days in the region, there will be reduction in paddy yield in the current year. Such weather fluctuations, causing drought like situation, leads to heavy infestation of insect pest, like rice hispa, swarming caterpillar and rodent population,” he told The Sentinel.