DHENKANAL: The district agriculture strategy committee has decided to grow both paddy and non-paddy crops in 1,85,100 hectares (ha) of land in the ensuing kharif season.
Crop diversification and mixed cropping, including mango and cashew cultivation, have been given priority.
During a district-level agriculture meeting presided over by Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan, the kharif plans of both agriculture and horticulture departments were approved.
While paddy cultivation will be taken up in 94,940 ha, non-paddy crops like pulses, oilseeds, fibre, vegetables and spices will be grown in 90,160 ha.
This apart, the Collector asked the financial institutions including cooperative banks to disburse crop loans to eligible farmers as soon as possible to start their farm work.
The Collector has set the target for cooperative banks to provide crop loan of around Rs 433 crore and Rs 258 crore for the commercial banks.
Deputy Director of Horticulture Bhagaban Das said more focus will also be given on mango and cashew cultivation as most of the mature trees were uprooted in cyclonic storm Fani.
Similarly, stress has been given on soil testing for better crop selection. As many as 13,806 soil samples will be collected from different areas for testing and accordingly farmers will be guided to take up non-paddy cultivation, said Deputy Director of Agriculture Chhabindra Behera.
Rabi procurement picks pace
Rabi paddy procurement in Koraput district has gained momentum after a slow start due to delay in harvesting and bad weather.
The district administration had decided to start paddy procurement from May 5 but no transaction was reported as farmers had not completed their harvesting.
Mandis were opened from May 25 but thunderstorms accompanied with heavy rains took a toll on farmers who failed to carry their produce to the purchasing centres.
However, the paddy procurement has picked pace since Monday and 39 mandis are now operational in both Jeypore and Koraput sub-divisions.
Earlier, the administration had opened only five mandis.
District Civil Supply Officer T Nayak said the administration has asked the LAMPS and millers to gear up the procurement and complete the process before the onset of monsoon.