Need to end farmers’ crisis: Shekhawat

Bhubaneswar: Union minister of state for agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Sunday said the Centre and state governments should come forward to resolve the problems of farmers in Orissa.
“This is not the time to blame one another or find lapses. This is the time to hold the hand of the farmer who is in distress and extend help to make his life better. I will visit the affected areas in Bargarh district. I will meet the affected farmers and family members of those who have committed suicide,” Shekhawat told reporters after holding a preliminary review meeting with officials of the state government and Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) on drought and pest menace.
Shekhawat is in the state along with a high-level official team to take stock of the drought situation and pest menace in Orissa.
“The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) director general will visit Ganjam district. After completing on-spot-survey of the situation we will hold discussions,” he added.
“Farmers are the food providers. Farmers of 14 districts in Orissa are now facing severe drought. Farmers in the areas which are called the rice bowl of the state have committed suicide.
“It is the duty of the Union government to address the farmers’ issues and for that we do not need the permission of the state government,” Shekhawat said.
The state government urged the Union minister to hike the agriculture input subsidy by 50 per cent to the affected farmers in rainfed areas.

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