Odisha govt shifts focus from paddy to non-paddy crops

Bhubaneswar: In the backdrop of deficit rainfall and resultant drought-like situation in the State, the Odisha government has decided to encourage farmers to cultivate non-paddy crops in the ensuing rabi and khariff seasons to compensate the crop loss.

A high level meeting in this regard was convened by chief secretary GC Pati at the secretariat here today.

“Since water levels at reservoirs in the State have dropped due to shortage of rainfall, farmers will be encouraged to grow non-paddy crops. Inputs will be provided to the farmers by the government and we will inform all the Collectors after preparing plans about the types of crops in respective regions,” Pati told media persons after the meeting.
The official said a drive to encourage farmers to undertake System Rice Intensification (SRI) method of paddy cultivation will soon be taken up.

“In the low lying areas where only paddy can be cultivated, the farmers will be encouraged to grow paddy in SRI method which requires about 40% less water.
Besides, since we don’t have much water in our reservoirs, the Government will help the farmers to yield more from crops which need less water in both rabi and kharif season,” he stated.

The state government has declared 139 blocks in 21 out of total 30 districts as drought affected and crops in 5.32 lakh hectares have been damaged.