Agriculture

Looming drought: Naveen asks Odisha babus to prep crop contingency plan

Rainfall between June 1 and August 15 in the eastern state has been 30 per cent less than normal 

 
By Priya Ranjan Sahu
Published: Wednesday 01 September 2021
Preparing for drought: Implement crop contingency, ensure water supply, Odisha CM to officials

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked district collectors and officials August 31, 2021 to implement a contingency crop plan for the farmers of the state, as a spectre of drought looms over 27 of its 30 districts.

He said that appropriate steps should be taken at the earliest to minimise the effects of impending drought on farmers and people in general. 

Rainfall between June 1 and August 15 in the eastern state has been 30 per cent less than normal, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). 

Cumulative rainfall in Odisha (June-August)

 

 

 

Red: Deficient rainfall (-59% to -20%); Green: Normal rainfall (-19% to 19%). Source: India Meteorology Department

Jajpur and Bhadrak districts had the largest deficiency (over 50 per cent), while Balangir, Jharsuguda, Kendrapara, Angul and Gajapati districts are reeling from more than 40 per cent deficiency.

Odisha is expected to experience normal rainfall (226.6 mm) in September, said IMD officials.

Till now, 213 blocks of the state have experienced rainfall deficit, which could adversely affect the agricultural activities, said Patnaik. He asked the Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department to monitor the situation on a daily basis and the district collectors to take immediate steps at the grassroots level.

The chief minister directed the officers to ensure water supply to farmlands by repairing the lift irrigation points and digging farm ponds on land having at least half an acre, and ensuring uninterrupted supply of water in the canal system. 

He suggested prioritising livelihood support for small and marginal farmers and farm labourers as well as creating jobs through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Acres of crops wilted after being sown this season due to lack of rainfall, complained farmers, adding that they did not have seed to sow again.In such cases, Patnaik asked the administration to arrange for new seed and farm kits. 

“Crops that are intact must be protected by providing diesel pump sets to farmers so that they can water their fields,” he said. He further advised the officials to take steps to recharge groundwater in low-lying areas.

Sufficient supply of drinking water for the residents and livestock must be ensured, the CM stressed. 

Deficient rainfall posed a problem for paddy cultivation but has had no impact on non-paddy crops, according to Odisha chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra. Paddy is grown in 3.5 million hectares in the state.  

 

 

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