Due to uneven and scanty rainfall or late onset of monsoon, drought conditions occur and also affect agricultural land and production. It has been informed in the ‘Drought studies for Kalahandi Dist.
in Orissa’ by National Institute of Hydrology that ‘On an average the occurrence of drought in the State happens once in every 3-5 years.” In the annual report of natural calamities 2012-13 same status has been explained-‘South West Monsoon generally breaks in Odisha by 10th June. This year there was prolonged summer and the monsoon broke on 17th June in a part of Orissa and on 19th June, covered the entire State. During June the rainfall remained deficient by 26.1 percent. In July also Odisha did not get adequate rainfall in the first fortnight. The shortage of rainfall up to 15th July was 18.7 percent.
Cumulatively the shortage of rainfall for the month of June and first fortnight of July remained 22.8 percent. During this period there was deficit / severe deficit of rainfall in 21 districts.
In the annual report on natural calameties (2012-13) it has been shown that block wise analysis of rainfall data indicates that 25 Blocks had rainfall deficit of more than 59 %, 63 Blocks had deficit between 40 and 59 per cent and 83 Blocks got deficit rainfall between 20 and 39 percent. Thus, rainfall shortfall of more than 19 per cent occurred in 171 Blocks of total 314 in Odisha up to 16th of July 2012.’ So this scarcity and uncertainty of rainfall causes moderate to low drought conditions in each year. The villages cannot get into the list of drought affected villages if they do not have significant loss of crops. So the farmers facing minor loss due to drought don’t get required remedy to survive. It has been stated in the Comprehensive District Annual Plan (2011-12) ‘Large areas of the district are also drought prone because of irregular distribution and deficient rainfall.
Due to lack of irrigation facilities, the standing crops fails and farmers face major setback.'(p,22). The setback of drought has developed stage of famine in 1856-66, 1897.
In the next decade 1918, 1949, 1954, 1965, 1979-80, 1982, and then 2002, 2012, 2015 the district experienced droughts. In the year 2002, 2586 villages in 258 GPs were severely affected due to unusual inadequate rainfall. In 2015 the harshness of the drought affected 5 blocks, 62 gram panchayats and 260 villages. In this phase 2 ULB’s and 12 wards got affected and 8402 hectares of total 20310 affected area declared as drought effected with a loss of 33% or more crops. Due to natural calamities some villages of Balasore district having crop loss of 50% and above in Kharif season is given below: