Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik directed officials to prepare for a possible drought situation in State, implement a contingency crop plan for farmers

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed the officials to prepare for a possible drought situation in the State and implement a contingency crop plan for farmers.He said that so far there has been lack of rainfall in 213 of the 314 blocks of the State.

He directed the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment to monitor situation on a daily basis and asked district Collectors to take immediate steps on field.

Patnaik advised for implementation of crop emergency plan, canal water flow and MGNREGA programmes. He asked the departments to provide seeds and mini-kits for a second crop in case of crop failure and provide diesel pumps to farmers at a discounted rate to preserve the crops. The CM asked for construction of farm ponds for more than half an acre of farmland in one place to ensure water supply to farmland. He also directed that all lift irrigation points be restored within seven days.

He suggested that various livelihood schemes be given priority to provide livelihood assistance to small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra said State has received 30per cent less rainfall so far. There are problems for paddy crops but not for non-paddy crops. The regional director of meteorological department informed that rainfall in September would be 226.6 mm.