Post News Network
Bhubaneswar: Learning a lesson from the prevailing drought-like situation that has massively damaged paddy crops during the kharif season, the state government Friday decided to put more emphasis on non-paddy crops during the coming rabi season.
Chairing a high-level coordination committee meeting, Chief Secretary GC Pati directed senior officials of the agriculture, irrigation and energy departments to encourage farmers to cultivate non-paddy crops in the rabi and khariff seasons to compensate for the crop loss.
“As water levels at reservoirs in the state have fallen due to scanty rainfall, our farmers will be encouraged to grow non-paddy crops during the rabi season. The state government will provide the necessary inputs to farmers. Collectors will be informed after plans are prepared on the types of crops to be cultivated in various regions,” Pati told journalists after the meeting.
The government would soon launch a special drive to encourage farmers to undertake System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of paddy cultivation, Pati added.
In low-lying areas where only paddy can be cultivated, farmers would be encouraged to grow paddy by applying the SRI method as it requires about 40 per cent less water, the chief secretary said.
“Since we do not have much water in our reservoirs, the government will help the farmers to have a greater yield from crops that need less water in both rabi and kharif seasons,” he added.
Besides, the state government has also prepared an action plan for the rabi season. The action plan would be carried out in two phases – the first phase starting November 15 and continuing till January 15, and the second starting January 15 and culminating June 15. Pati urged the agriculture, energy and irrigation departments to maintain coordination among them while implementing the action plan.
The agriculture department has been instructed to focus on proper and adequate distribution of seeds and fertilisers in the first phase, while the water resources and energy departments will work on irrigation in the second phase.
The state government has identified 139 blocks in 21 districts as drought affected. Crops in 5.32 lakh hectares have been damaged in these areas.