Rs 1,398 crore package for Jharkhand farmers

Ranchi: The Jharkhand government on Friday announced a Rs.1,398 crore package for farmers hit by drought this year due to scanty rainfall.

“The state government has decided to give Rs.1,398 crore package to farmers. There will be 50 percent subsidy on diesel for farmers. More than 700 check dams will be constructed at a cost of Rs.513 crore in Jharkhand Agriculture Minster Randhir Singh told reporters here.

The government however has not taken a decision to announce the state as drought- affected. Government sources said a decision on declaring the state as drought-affected would be taken after a report from the Centre.

Jharkhand received good rainfall in July, prompting farmers to sow paddy. Crop was sown on around 95 percent of cultivable area in Jharkhand. However, in August and September, Jharkhand received only 30 and 15 percent of the normal rainfall, causing panic among farmers. Cracks developed in paddy fields.

Around 40 percent of paddy has been damaged this year due to scanty rain in 122 blocks in the state. In some areas, the damage is nearly 70 percent.

The state government sought report from all districts regarding the drought situation and damage to crops. The report has since been submitted to the state disaster management department.