Bhubaneswar, Oct 15 (IANS) The Odisha government on Thursday included four more districts in the list of drought-affected areas, taking to 16 the number of drought-hit districts in the state.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayashree Routray said the government has decided to include Bolangir, Nuapada, Jharsuguda and Bargarh districts along with 12 other districts that have been hit by drought following scanty rainfall this monsoon.
On Wednesday, Routray had declared 12 districts — Balasore, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Puri and Subarnapur — as drought-hit.
The minister also said that a drought package will be implemented very soon.
The 123 blocks in the 16 districts facing drought-like situation have suffered crop loss of more than 33 percent and will be covered under the Rs.1,000 crore special package announced by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday, the minister said.
Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said the final estimation on drought-hit areas is yet to be received by the department.
The chief minister on Wednesday announced that agriculture input subsidy will be provided to the small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 percent and above at Rs.6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/non-irrigated areas and Rs.13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation.
Agriculture input subsidy will also be provided to farmers other than small and marginal farmers at the same rates subject to a ceiling of two hectare per farmer.
For perennial crops, the assistance will be provided at Rs.18,000 per hectare.