The state authorities had targeted four million hectares of area under kharif paddy cultivation this season. While direct sowing has been almost complete, the transplantation could not be taken up in many areas, a senior agriculture department official told IANS.
Odisha received a total of 393.9mm of rainfall till July 24, against the average of 472.2mm for this time of the season. The state may witness widespread rains in the next two-three days, the weather office said, hoping that this would further reduce the deficit.
Odisha contributes about a tenth of India's total rice production. A good monsoon is crucial for the state, which has about 73 percent of its work force engaged in the agriculture sector. Monsoon normally reaches the state by June 10. However, this year, it was delayed by a week.