BHUBANESWAR: With the meteorological department predicting arrival of monsoon in the first week of June, the State Government on Saturday directed the district Collectors to ensure timely supply of seeds and fertiliser to the farmers for the kharif crops.
Since the State Government has set food grain production target of 10 million tonne (mt) in the kharif, 2015, the Collectors have been asked to be vigilant for any abnormal situation during the kharif season and accordingly prepare contingency crop plan in consultation with stakeholders to address deficient rainfall.
Chief Secretary GC Pati issued the directions during a video conference with Collectors at the Secretariat here.
The district administration should be more watchful during distribution of seeds and fertilisers and take strong action against private traders indulging in unfair practices.
Since the State Government has already pre-positioned 3.5 lakh quintals of paddy seeds and 1.6 lakh tonne of fertilisers in the districts, the Collectors were asked to assess the needs of farmers for the two agricultural inputs and send their requisition to the Government.
Care must be taken to keep adequate stocks of Swarna sub-1 paddy seeds in flood prone coastal districts as the variety is flood resistant.
The Agriculture Department was asked to popularise the SRI (system of rice intensification) method of paddy cultivation to increase productivity.
In his April circular to the Collectors as part of kharif campaign for 2015, the Chief Secretary had said the basic strategy should to cover large area under crops which can withstand possible deficient rainfall. The weather department is apprehensive that the monsoon may not maintain its strength during its travel in the State.
Pati asked the district Collectors to ensure timely lending of crop loans to the farmers. The Government has planned to extend crop loans to the tune of Rs 5,500 crore to farmers during kharif season by the cooperative sector.