BHUBANESWAR : The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, and Cooperation departments for the first time took a joint review of the ongoing kharif activities in the State to address problems faced by farmers on Thursday.
The cooperative credit structures, which meet over 60 per cent of the short-term credit needs of the farmers, have so far lent Rs 5,802 crore to over 12.76 lakh farmers. The government has set a target to provide agricultural credit to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore during this kharif cultivation.
Even as the government has been emphasising to give priority to joint liability groups (JLGs), women SHGs, small and marginal farmers during loan disbursement, the meeting did not disclose the quantum of loan disbursed so far and the number of farmers in the disadvantage group who have availed the credit facility.
While the seed replacement rate (SRR) of Odisha is one of the lowest and much below the national average, the meeting was informed that the Cooperation department has supplied 3.6 lakh quintal of certified seeds to the farmers and is in the process to mobilise another 1 lakh quintal to all the districts.
The State government has planned to supply 5.4 lakh tonne of seeds during this kharif as against the actual seeds requirement of about 25 lakh tonne.
Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo who raised an alarm about short supply of fertilisers by the Centre recently directed the department to ensure steady supply of the chemical manure to the farmers. The government press release is silent on the available stock and the actual requirement of fertilisers of the State.
The meeting attended by Cooperation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain elaborately discussed supply of farm implements, cold storage facility, agricultural marketing and related issues where the State has been faltering for long.