Agri Cabinet On 6 Nov

 State Agriculture Cabinet will be meeting on 6 November to help out the farmers, who have suffered crop losses due to pest attack.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will chair a meeting of Agri Cabinet  to discuss the situation arising out of pest attack and approve the compensation package.
However, being a Sunday, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan today reviewed the situation during a high-level meeting here.

Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Gagan Kumar Dhal, Principal Secretary Finance, T K Pandey, Principal Secretary Agriculture Saurabh Garg, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi and others were present in the meeting.
There was a Video Conference with 16 District Collectors, where the Collectors presented the Report Card on pest attack and related issues.

The Collectors provided information about the prevailing situation in their areas.
It was decided during the meeting that steps will be accelerated to tackle the situation and the affected farmers would be compensated according to the relief code, a senior official said.
Later Mr.Balakrishnan said the situation was under control and there was no need to panic as the area under pest attack was not very large.
The district collectors have been asked to intensify awareness drives. Revenue officials, self help groups (SHGs) and grass root level workers would be mobilized for the purpose, he said.
The state government has already given the nod for disbursal of assistance for rabi crop loss, he said.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada  Sethi said Rs 216 crore has been sanctioned for drought-affected farmers.
Experts at the meeting felt that the incidence of pest attack increased in some areas due to irregular rainfall, moisture content in the atmosphere and delay in return of winter.
In absence of cold conditions, the pest attack is virulent, pointed out a senior official. They admit it is due to climate change impact.
Also, mixing of different insecticides, absence of proper gap between plants and excessive use of urea helped the pest spread, he said.
It is estimated that crops in about 1.78 lakh hectares of agricultural land in nine districts of Odisha have been attacked by pests, officials said.
Standing crops in 8,211 villages in 92 blocks and 19 urban local bodies in nine districts are reeling under pest attack, an official of the SRC office said.
State Government in the meantime has sent the samples of insecticides to the Central Laboratory for testing, to come to a conclusion, whether it was an issue of use of spurious insecticides or plants have developed drug resistance, so that future planning can be done in a scientific manner, said an official.

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