BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government on Friday notified 1.28 lakh hectare cropped area as pest-affected and released `137.51 crore towards agriculture input subsidy from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).A day after announcing the modalities for issue of agriculture input subsidy, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC)’s office said, as many as 24 out of 30 districts have reported crop damage due to pest infestation. Six districts such as Balasore, Cuttack, Jagatsingpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara and Malkangiri have recorded no damage.
According to SRC Bishnupada Sethi, pest attack has been reported in cropped area of 8,092 villages under 150 blocks and 148 wards under 35 ULBs in 24 districts. Bargarh, expectedly, has reported the highest loss with pest attack recorded in 37,185 hectares. The State Government has released `46.67 crore for the district.
Similarly, Sambalpur which recorded crop-loss in 28,227 hectares has been sanctioned `28.7 crore as agriculture input subsidy. In Ganjam district, the affected crop land was estimated at 20,010 hectares for which the input subsidy is pegged at `21.49 crore.
Kalahandi, Jharsuguda, Sonepur, Balangir, Nuapada and Nayagarh are among the other districts which have suffered major damage. Basing on the two slabs of `6,800 per hectare in rain-fed areas and `13,500 for areas under assured irrigation, the total requirement for input subsidy is pegged at `137.5 crore.
Pest attack has been classified as one of the 12 approved natural disasters under the State Disaster Relief Fund and National Disaster Relief Fund guidelines. Those suffering crop-loss above 33 percent are eligible.
While announcing the release of the compensation, the State Government has also asked farmers to remain prepared for rains which are forecast next week.With the India Meteorological Department already issuing bulletins on the formation of a low-pressure area over the south-west Bay of Bengal, the SRC office asked the Collectors to issue advisories to the farmers at the earliest.
Harvested paddy must be shifted and covered to avoid damage while those awaiting harvesting must be processed fast and moved to safety, the Government said.The low pressure is likely to induce moderate rainfall on November 13 at some parts of southern Odisha whereas 17 districts may receive heavy showers between November 15 and 18 due to movement of the system closure to the coast of the State.
Low pressure alert
State Govt asked farmers to remain prepared for rains forecast next week
Low pressure likely to induce moderate rainfall on Nov 13 in parts of South Odisha
17 districts may receive heavy showers between Nov 15 and 18
Collectors directed to issue advisories to farmers at the earliest
Directions include, shifting of harvested paddy and covered it to avoid damage
The crop awaiting harvesting must be processed fast and moved to safety