Sidho Munda ploughs his land in Narayanpur village in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Angara, June 21: City dwellers may be cursing the rains that have lashed the state over the last few days as they have been left without power, drinking water and with water-logged streets, in rural Jharkhand, the same showers have brought cheer to farmers who are now dreaming of a good harvest.
After coping with a drought-like situation over the last three years that left them with poor crops, the farmers now say that if the showers continue, the chances of a bumper harvest would be very real. Rainwater has filled up the fields in the villages of Jonha, Getalsud, Soso, Maheshpur and Narayanpur in Angara block for the first time in years.
As the sun made an appearance yesterday after four days of torrential rain, farmers of Narayanpur village could be seen on their fields with bullock and ploughs, as the women removed weeds to prepare the soil for sowing paddy.
“Three years of drought almost broke us. But the good rain this year has given us hope,” said farmer Sidho Munda, as he ploughed his field.
The 50-year-old father of three owns a little over three acres. As agriculture is the primary source of income for the family, the last three years have been particularly hard, with the family going hungry sometimes.
But this year, the rains have brought a sense of optimism. As in the villages of Angara and Silli blocks of Ranchi district, agricultural activities have kicked off elsewhere in the state too, according to officials of the agriculture department.
Monsoon this year arrived in good measure on June 15. Rains continued till late Sunday evening, with heavy clouds hiding the sun completely. The sun made an appearance only yesterday afternoon.
The region received about 300mm rainfall in the first few showers of the monsoon this year with Ranchi Meteorological office recording a total of 316mm in the state capital.
Other areas of the state are also recording good rains. Director of Ranchi meteorological office G.K. Mohanty said Jharkhand as of now had received an average rainfall of 160mm, about 76 per cent more than the normal of 90.7mm at this time of the year.
“I will be sowing seeds on this plot by this evening. They should grow as saplings for transplantation by end of July if rains continue this year,” said a happy Budhwa Munda, another farmer of Narayanpur, as he tilled his plot.
The good rains have made agriculture department officials happy as well.
“We will start distribution of high yielding paddy seeds from June 28 among the farmers across the state. The monsoon this year has begun on a positive note and we are hopeful of a good harvest if showers continue at this rate,” said Rajesh Sharma, director of the department.