Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 7:
Although the state has received sufficient rainfall, barring a few pockets and the state government has been claiming that it has taken all steps to help farmers, the total crop coverage so far in Odisha stands at 55.7 lakh hectare against the target of 60.50 lakh hectare during this year’s Kharif season.
Sources in the state Agriculture department, however, said the coverage of paddy, oil seed and pulses will continue this month and it would be possible to almost reach the target.
According to the 12th crop weather watch group committee report, the paddy coverage in Odisha is 35.23 lakh hectare so far against the target of 36 lakh ha during the Kharif season.
The government has supplied 5, 20, 532 quintals of paddy seeds to the farmers, which is 15, 500 quintal more than the last year, said the report.
The total seed supply of moong, biri and arhar is 708.36 quintals, 1639.76 quintals and 1521.38 quintals respectively.
With the state facing acute shortage of potato over the last few years and depending heavily on neighboring West Bengal, the Agriculture department has decided to constitute a ‘state potato cell’ at the Horticulture directorate to monitor the production of potato.
The Horticulture director has also been asked to prepare a strategy for seed multiplication of vegetable crops, especially potato and onion.
The department has decided to provide paper mill sludge (PMS) to the farmers for treatment of highly acid soil to get a better yield of potato crop.
The government has decided to set a target of producing 5 lakh tons of potato in Koraput district through small, marginal and tribal farmers by the end of 2015 Rabi season, sources added.