The Odisha government on Wednesday announced a drought package for the Kharif season for farmers. Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik said agriculture input subsidy will be provided to small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 per cent and above.
He added that Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/non-irrigated areas and Rs 13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation would be provided in the drought assistance package.
Agriculture input subsidy would also be provided to farmers other than small and marginal farmers at the same rates, subject to a ceiling of two hectares per farmer. The assistance shall be provided to actual cultivators.
Over 3.15 lakh hectares in 70 blocks of 15 districts have been affected by drought in Odisha. The chief minister said farmers affected by drought in Kharif shall be provided fresh finance for Rabi cultivation during current Rabi season.
He said the Centre would be requested to provide interest incentive of 3 per cent for Medium Term (conversion) loans-at par with crop loans for prompt paying farmers. He also asked the district administrations to keep a close watch on moneylenders and unscrupulous elements causing financial hardship to the farmers.
Odisha will also provide 50 days of additional work under MGNREGA in drought-affected areas. “Landless, marginal and small farmers in the gram panchayats of 70 blocks will be provided livelihood support in terms of backyard poultry,” said Patnaik.