BHUBANESWAR: Anticipating deficient rainfall under impact of El Nino, the State Government on Monday asked the Agriculture Department to advise farmers to switch to drought-resistant and short-duration crops.
Agriculture and Cooperation Departments have been asked to preposition quantity of seeds, fertilisers and other farm inputs for delivery to farmers at reasonably short notice in districts .
A high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary GC Pati discussed the contingency kharif plan prepared by Agriculture Department to face severe rainfall deficiency.
While June rainfall is more than normal in the State, the July rainfall so far has been 11 per cent less than normal. Of 314 blocks, 203 have received either normal or excess rain, remaining 111 blocks received deficient showers.
“The IMD forecasts below normal rain because of El Nino effect and disturbances in Arabian sea will have adverse impact on the monsoon. This has prompted the Government to change its kharif plan,” Agriculture Secretary Rajesh Verma told reporters after the meeting.
Over 20.52 lakh hectare is already under Kharif cultivation and equal area is being prepared for sowing and transplantation. The Government has prepositioned 6.07 lakh quintals of certified paddy seeds in districts.
The Department is ready to supply seeds for medium and short duration crops in areas which will experience less than normal or deficient rainfall, Verma said adding, 93,586 quintals of such seeds are in stock.
Since the Government has targeted to supply 40,000 pump sets during this kharif, Pati asked the Agriculture Secretary to give priority to farmers facing deficient rainfall. He also directed Lift Irrigation Corporation to operationalise at least 13,000 deep bore well by August 15.