Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 23:
Following the weakening of the southwest monsoon this year due to the El Nino effect, which has resulted in less rainfall in Odisha, the state government today decided to step up measures to save crops in Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur, the two worst affected districts.
This was decided at a review meeting on the rainfall situation and the status of agriculture in Odisha presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here.
It was revealed that the state has received six percent less rainfall by July 22 in which Malkangiri district has received maximum rainfall while the two coastal districts of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur have reported over 40 percent deficient rainfall.
The chief minister directed the Water Resources department to take up renovation work of the existing canals and all defunct lift irrigation (LI) points in these two coastal districts on a war-footing.
In spite of widespread rainfall in most parts of the state from the next week forecast by the Met department, the chief ministers asked the concerned departments to keep their advance plans ready to tackle drought-like situations in case of any change in the weather.
The meeting had a threadbare discussion on the four-point programme taken up by the Agriculture department to deal with the situation. Under the programme, the department has made specific arrangements to provide the farmers with seeds of short duration paddy variety as well as pulse seeds, oil seeds and vegetable seeds in time.
To ensure continuous supply of water to the land of the farmers, steps have been taken to energise all LI points and renovate defunct LI points. Plans have also been chalked out to increase irrigation capacities under the Jalanidhi and other schemes.
To provide regular feedback to the farmers on the weather, crop and insurance status, the meeting laid stress on weekly review meeting to ensure that the farmers get timely inputs and assistance to save their crops.
The meeting was informed about contingency plans prepared by all the districts on the basis of their requirements to tackle drought like situation.