Govt announces drought package for crop loss during kharif season

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday announced drought package for crop loss due to natural calamities in Odisha.

As per the package, agriculture input subsidy will be provided to small and marginal farmers, who have sustained a crop loss of 33 per cent and above at the rate of Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/non-irrigated areas and Rs 13,500 per hectare in areas under assured irrigation. Agriculture input subsidy will also be provided to all farmers, other than small and marginal ones, at the same rates subject to a ceiling of two hectares per farmer. The assistance will be provided to the actual cultivators.

Under the package, farmers affected by drought in kharif shall be provided fresh finance for cultivation during rabi season, which commenced from October 1. Short-term kharif loan advance in the affected areas, having crop loss of 33 per cent and above, will be converted into medium-term (Conversion) loans. Besides, the due date of kharif short-term loans in the affected areas will be extended up to September 30, 2018, to facilitate
conversion of such loans into medium-term (Conversion) loans.

The Centre will be requested to provide interest incentive of 3 per cent for medium-term (Conversion) loans that is on a par with crop loans for prompt paying farmers.

The district administration will keep a close watch on money lenders and other unscrupulous elements causing financial hardship to the farmers and police will initiate tough action against such elements under the Odisha Money Lenders Act and various sections of the CrPC. The SPs will proactively deal with this while the DIGs will review the matter.

As many as 1.25 lakh pulse minikits, 0.5 lakh oilseed minikits and 0.25 lakh vegetable minikits will be supplied to farmers for the Rabi Programme in the affected villages and 5,000 pump sets with 50 per cent subsidy limited to Rs 15,000. Besides, availability of pump sets in different Agro Service Centres will be published to enable the farmers to hire the same to save their standing crops.

Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation will take immediate steps to repair the Lift Irrigation (LI) Points in all the affected villages on priority. Steps will be initiated to operate all LI Points immediately. The district level committees constituted to revive defunct LI Points should start the work immediately and complete the
same by December 31. Steps should be taken to energize all pending deep bore wells on priority basis.

MGNREGA works will be taken up by the Panchayati Raj Department to establish water harvesting structures/de-slitting of field channels, diversion weirs, etc. The government will provide 50 days of additional work in drought-affected areas.

Landless, marginal and small farmers in drought affected GPs of 70 blocks will be provided livelihood support in terms of backyard poultry. At the same time, a focused approach will be adopted to take up intensive fodder cultivation in these GPs through distribution of suitable kits.

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