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Odisha announces packages for flood affected farmers

Incessant rainfall in four districts is reported to have destroyed about 17,000 hectare farm land

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

The state government today announced a series of packages for flood affected farmers in four districts of south Odisha, which received excess rainfall last week after the southwest monsoon arrived ahead of schedule.

Incessant rainfall in Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Rayagda and Koraput is reported to have destroyed about 17,000 hectare (ha) farm land growing mainly paddy and corn.

The government today announced to pay an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2,000 per ha to farmers who have suffered more than 50 per cent crop loss. The minimum assistance has been fixed at Rs 2,000 per affected farmer.

Besides, agricultural input subsidy of Rs 3,000 per ha in rain-fed areas and Rs 6,000 per ha in irrigated areas will be provided. Farmers growing perennial crops such as coffee, sunflower and other plantation crops will be provided assistance of Rs 8,000 per ha.

The packages will be provided after joint verification by the officials of agriculture and revenue departments, said a release from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).

After discussion with the collectors of the affected districts last week, the state government has formulated a package to help the farmers to rebuild their houses. The collectors have been advised to provide cloths, utensils and other necessary items to flood affected families within a week. Those, whose houses have been completely destroyed, will be provided assistance under Mo Kudia or Indira Awas Yojna, Patnaik said.

As per the latest decisions, the farmers affected in the current flood will be provided with Kharif crop loan even if they have defaulted in repayment of existing loans. The repayment schedule of kharif crop loan will be deferred by one year without any change in interest rate, the chief minister said. The state government last month had announced payment of crop loan at 2 per cent interest rate.

Patnaik has directed the state Civil Supply Corporation to take steps to buy available paddy in the market yards though a special drive with payment of minimum support price to farmers. The cooperation department has been asked to prepare threshing floors and shed in the affected areas for storage of crops. The state government has also written to the central government to relax paddy procurement quality norms. The agriculture department will provide paddy seeds free of cost to affected farmers as per the package.

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First Published: Wed, June 19 2013. 20:28 IST