The meteorological observatory in Panaji has recorded 49 percent rain deficit in the first month, teamed with the late arrival of monsoon in the state. The monsoon had arrived on in Goa June 11 as against the scheduled arrival on June 2.
    
Agriculture Director Prajapati Tufani admitted that the current trend of rain is worrisome for paddy farming.

"We have to pray to God for showers now," he said.

The problems for paddy farming might worsen if rains don't turn up in the next three days, a senior scientist from Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) said.

"In paddy cultivation, the upland farming will have more problems. Those who have already tilled and sown the seeds will have to go for resowing. The fields in low lying areas might not face much problem, but it is imperative that it should rain in next three days," said Dr H R Prabhudesai, scientist with ICAR, Goa.

Government figures reveal that the state has approximately 50,000 hectares area under paddy cultivation, of which kharif is around 35,000 hectares and rabi is 12,000 hectares of land.

"Rice is a water-loving plant, like banana and sugar cane. There should be a contingency plan ready with the government. If seeds are burnt without proper rain, then the state government should provide more seeds for the farmers," he said.
    
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has conceded that there is rain deficit-like situation in the first month.

"The total seasonal rainfall till Monday was 460.8 mm as against the normal 889.8 mm," said K V Singh, the in-charge of IMD Goa office.
    
The IMD has predicted that the monsoon currents might pick up during the next 24 hours.

(Agencies)

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