Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday disbursed Rs 743 crore among above 37 lakh small and marginal farmers under state’s flagship program Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) on the occasion of the auspicious Nuakhai, an agrarian festival.
Mr.Patnaik disbursed Rs 2,000 each to the bank account of 37,12,914 small and nominal farmers as an assistance to undertake Rabi crop under the Scheme, earlier launched by the state government ahead of the 2019 general elections for the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly.
The exact amount of disbursement on Saturday was Rs 742.58 crore, an official of Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Empowerment said.
Mr.Patnaik said as much as Rs 3200 crore have been disbursed to the farmers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The problems of farmers are the concern of the entire state. We cannot ignore the farmers’ issues. I am in touch with the Centre to streamline supply of fertilizer for the farmers in Odisha. This apart, the state government is also constantly drawing attention of the Centre of the MSP on paddy and disbursement of benefits under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,” Mr.Patnaik said.
He said the deficient rainfall during August this year has caused problems for the farmers. “However, I am optimistic that the situation will improve soon due to rainfall being received for some days due to creation of low pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the state is constantly monitoring the prevailing dry spell situation in the state.
The state by September 2 this year has received 29.3 per cent less rainfall than the normal during the peak monsoon season from June 1 to August 31. While the amount of deficient rainfall in the month of June was 16.6 per cent, it was 21.3% less in July and highest 44.7 per cent in August. It is believed that deficient rainfall in the month of August used to cause drought in the state.
The paddy crop cultivation in about 102 blocks spread over 20 districts have been adversely impacted due to the deficient rainfall, said agriculture minister
While wishing farmers a happy Nuakhai, the chief minister said that the Kalia scheme has been one of the best farmers assisting schemes in the country. This scheme is the lone such initiative where the land less farmers are also covered, the Chief Minister said adding that
Mr.Patnaik said the field officials have been instructed to keep in touch with the farmers, and he suggested cultivators to work under the guidance of the Department of Agriculture& Farmers’ Empowerment.