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Possible rain: Odisha CM calls for safety of crops


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has asked the district collectors to complete the disbursement of the agriculture input subsidy of Rs 718.5 crore to the farmers affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain by December 15, an official said on Tuesday.

According to the official, Rs 216.22 crore agriculture input subsidy for drought-affected farmers, Rs 137.51 crore for pest attack and Rs 364.76 crore for loss and damage caused by unseasonal rains has been sanctioned.

Taking a review meeting on the possible rain situation that is likely to affect the farmers, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed the district collectors to distribute the sanctioned input subsidy to the farmers in 29 districts soon.

He also called for preventive measures for the safety of crops in view of the possible cyclone rain.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rainfall in several parts of the state from December 7-10.

The government advised the farmers to shift their harvested paddy to a safe place and keep it properly stacked or covered to avoid any damage.

As per the government assessment, about 8.5 lakh hectares of crop area had been affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain which affected the farmers during the current year.

While six districts, namely Boudh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Khordha and Nayagarh have been affected by all the three disasters, 17 districts suffered from two disasters and the remaining 6 districts have been affected by one disaster. Malkangiri is the only district that has escaped these disasters.

While more than 33 per cent crop loss was recorded over an area of 317.98 lakh hectares due to drought, pest attack affected 128.32 lakh hectares of land and unseasonal rain hit 407.10 lakh hectares, said an official.