41 farmers committed suicide: Odisha government

Bhubaneswar, Oct 29 (IANS) The Odisha government on Thursday said it has received reports on the alleged suicide of 41 farmers and is examining the actual cause of their death.

The government also said 21 districts in the state are facing drought.

“The district collectors have submitted eye estimation report on the crop loss in their respective districts. As per the report, more than 33 percent of crops in 139 blocks of 21 districts have been damaged due to scanty rainfall this year,” said special relief commissioner (SRC) G.V.V. Sharma.

He said a detailed crop-cutting report will be prepared as per the Odisha Relief Code.

After the crop cutting assessment is completed, a detailed survey will be made over the actual amount of crop loss this Kharif season and who would be provided agricultural inputs, subsidy under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) scheme, Sharma added.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday declared Mayurbhanj district as completely drought affected basing on the district administration report.

With the farmers committing suicide due to loan burden, Sharma said the government has decided to act tough against the moneylenders, who are operating without registration, under the Prevention of Money laundering Act.

Also, the government on Thursday asked the cooperative and commercial banks not to exert any pressure on the farmers for repayment of Kharif loans in the affected blocks.

Odisha chief secretary G.C. Pati, who took a review meeting over drought situation with several banks here, directed that Rabi loan will be advanced to the farmers without asking them to repay the Kharif loan.

It has also been decided that the District Level Technical Committees will be convened soon for reviewing and revising the scale of finance for different Rabi crops as loan to the farmers.

The chief secretary directed the agriculture department to issue advisories for mixed crop and fodder cultivation as per availability of irrigation water and residual moisture which can sustain these crops in Rabi.

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