Don’t Switch Off Phones, Stay At HQ, Sahoo Tells Farm Staff

Bhubaneswar: In view of drought-like emergency situation, field officers associated with agriculture and farming have been advised against leaving their headquarters and switching off their mobile phones.

Presiding over a review meeting here, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Minister Arun Sahoo has directed all field officers to regularly interact with farmers and monitor their agricultural activities and redress their grievances in view of the prevailing drought-like situation.

“Go to the fields, vegetable farms and fish ponds if there is need. We must not shun our responsibilities,” the minister said.

Sahoo also instructed farm officials to prepare database of solar power-charged lift irrigation facilities, farm ponds, small and medium irrigation projects in their respective blocks and panchayats and ensure that those are functioning properly. “Repair irrigation facilities, and provide electric connections wherever there is need and report the details to district headquarters for immediate remedial action,” Sahoo suggested.

“Keep your mobile phones active and provide official inputs whenever required and stay alert constantly to meet emergencies,” the minister ordered.

Prepare short and medium-term plans to meet exigencies to tackle deficient rain and drought through coordinated efforts within the respective panchayats and blocks, the minister directed at the meeting.

The minister also instructed the officials at block and district levels to hold review meetings at 5 pm every Saturday and immediately transmit reports of proceedings along with visuals to his office.

The high-level meeting was attended by Agriculture Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Secretary, Directors of Soil Conservation and Horticulture among others.

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