Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 5:
The Odisha government today began the disbursement of special drought assistance to the affected farmers in the state beginning with Baragarh, Bolangir and Khurda districts through electronic transfer system.
The state government provided a financial assistance of Rs 100 per quintal to the drought-hit farmers who were affected during the Kharif season last year.
“The farmers of the state have successfully survived the natural calamities in the previous years. Despite the adverse conditions, they have successfully battled them, increased productivity with hard labour and brought laurels for the state. The state government is with them and has continued its efforts to resolve their issues on priority basis,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Earlier in November last year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a drought assistance of Rs 100 per quintal of paddy to the affected farmers in 21 districts, during a farmers rally at Sohela.
The state government would transfer the amount directly to their bank accounts. With this, an estimated 3 lakh farmers would be benefitted in the state.
It may be noted here that over 29000 villages in 27 districts were drought hit due to insufficient rain last year.
The Food and Consumer Welfare Department had prepared an estimated loss report where the extent of crop loss was 33 % and above. As per the data prepared, around 3 lakh peasants would be eligible to get the assistance, subject to a maximum of 50 quintal of paddy per farmer.
Notably, scores of farmers – particularly in western Odisha – committed suicide due to crop loss and debt burden.