Agri minister promises revision of package for farmers, if need arises

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the farmers death in Odisha which has taken alarming proportions, the State government on Saturday said if required, it would revise the package for the farmers it had announced recently.

“We are visiting the drought affected areas after getting reports from district collectors. I appeal the farmers to repose their faith on the government. I am trying my best for the development of agriculture as well as the farmer community,” Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy told medipersons during his
visit to Bolagarh and Begunia in Khurda district.

He further said the Agriculture department will submit its final report to the State government by November-end.

Meanwhile, Opposition Congress alleged that the minister has not visited the areas which have been severely affected by the drought and the places where the farmers have committed suicide.

OPCC president Prasad Harichandan asked the chief minister and agriculture minister to meet the family members of the deceased farmers.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said the government was shedding crocodile tears before the Centre for assistance only to save its image in the wake of farmer suicides in the state.

The government has identified 123 blocks in 16 districts as drought-affected while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a drought assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the farming community.

The drought assistance is to be given to farmers facing crop loss of 33 percent and above.

During a meeting with union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday in New Delhi, Patnaik urged for Rs 3,500 crore special assistance for drought-hit areas in Odisha.

Three farmers died on Saturday after they consumed poison due to alleged loan burden and crop loss.