Rains boost farmers’ hope in Jharkhand

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Take a drive along Itki and you will hear sounds of relief-green shrubs, splashing water and sticky mud underfoot.

The rain that soaked this driveway has Ram Mahato thinking the drought will disappear just as surely as the heat and humidity.

“We had a really nice rain here during the past three days”,says Mahato,a corn, paddy and vegetable farmer in Ranchi. “My neighbor put his rain gauge out; he had a little over eight tenths.”

Shravan’s arrival means the paddy planting season is not far away, and although farmers are worried that if the rains stop,drought will result,causing untold miseries.But clouds hover in the sky and the prediction by Met department have boosted farmers’ outlook for this year’s crop.

The rain measured by Mahato’s neighbor points to a big change from a week ago, when things were dry and abnormally warm. Then, the family garden sprouted green chillies.“Now you’d have to use a pickaxe to chop through the plant to sow a new plant of maze”,Mahato says.

The change in the weather has the 63-year-old Mahato feeling good about the coming paddy season.Adding to that expectation is the forecast from the Met department he follows that predicts near normal rains in July 25-August 25.

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