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Special Package For Farmers


State Government on Tuesday announced a Special Package for farmers to boost agriculture and horticulture in State.

Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers' Empowerment Department and Vir Vikram Yadav, Secretary, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Department briefed the Press on measures taken by State Government in COVID-19 situation.

Principal Secretary Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment Saurabh Garg said at a press conference that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced a special package of Rs. 200 crore covering 25 Lakh farmers to boost agricultural and horticultural activities in the extraordinary situation of COVID-19.

This includes distribution of quality certified seeds at subsidized rate, supply of vegetable mini-kits, incentives for hybrid vegetable seeds, supply of mixed fruit plants for backyard plantation, supply of mango grafts, special assistance for high value vegetables (creeper crops), support for betel vine, flower and mushroom cultivation, supply of plastic crates and demonstration program of different crops, he said.

Besides the Agriculture & Farmers' Empowerment Department has also taken up Kharif program in 61.80 lakh hectare with a target of producing 96 Lakh MT of food grains, said he.

Major thrust has been given on crop diversification by diverting area under rice and increasing area under pulses, oil seeds and other remunerative crops.

It has been planned to construct 1,03,000 farm ponds in convergence with MGNREGA Program to provide gainful employment to migrant workers, Mr.Garg said.

He said that plantation activities in 19,900 hectare have been taken for boosting production of foods and engagement of rural workforce.
 
'Agricultural Advisories' are being sent through 'Ama Krushi' Helpline Service. 8.05 Lakh farmers have been on boarded in the system.
 
Farmers can call toll free Help Line 1800-102-5166 to avail the service, Mr.Garg said.
 
25-30 Lakh voice messages per month are being sent to registered farmers, the Secretary said adding, as risk mitigation measure during Kharif 2020, it has been planned to cover 30 lakh farmers including 10 lakh non-loanee farmers under PMFBY.

He said that VAWs are attending in Gram Panchyat Office on each Monday to address the farmers' issues and 30 Nodal Officers have been engaged to oversee implementation of various schemes/agricultural programs.
 
Secretary Cooperation V V Yadav said as per direction of the Chief Minister to expedite Kharif loan to more farmers through cooperative institutions during COVID-19 situation, disbursement of loan has started from April 25 and credit to the tune of Rs. 2649 Crore has been provided as on May 31 as against Rs. 1218 crore last year -- 117% more.
 
Mr.Yadav said credit to the tune of Rs. 9000 crore will be disbursed to the farmers through Cooperative Institutions during Kharif as compared to Rs. 7500 crore last year.
 
As many as 6,19,000 farmers have been provided Kharif loan as on May 31compared to 3,05,000 farmers which is 103 per cent more than that period last year.
 
Rs. 10.78 crore and Rs. 23.38 crore have been provided as loan to 750 SHGs and 4026 Joint Liability Groups respectively, the Agriculture Secretary said.
 
As many as 171  Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies(PACS) are engaged to procure pulses and oil-seeds this year in comparison to 55 PACS engaged last year while 16,816 farmers have been registered this year in comparison to 8856 farmers last year to this period for the purpose, he said.
 
Pulses and oil-seeds of Rs. 18.43 Crore have been purchased this year in comparison Rs. 1.83 Crore last year.

Paddy procurement for Rabi Season is going on in 17 districts i.e. Balasore, Baragarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Khordha, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapara, Puri, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sonepur. 2.57 Lakh number of farmers have registered their names for such procurement, which was 2.16 Lakh last year.

So far 10.51 lakh MT paddy have been procured. It is 40% more than the last year's procurement (7.97 Lakh MT), said Secretary Supply Mr.Yadav.

As per the direction of Chief Minister, payment to the farmers within 24 to 48 hours is being ensured, he asserted adding that Rs. 1381 crore has been credited to the farmers' account for such procurement and it will continue till 30 June, said Mr.Yadav.
 


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