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Agri dept steps to compensate crop loss due to floods


GUWAHATI, Aug 6 - The State is staring at a disturbing spectre of 33 per cent crop loss in the aftermath of two waves of devastating floods during the period from mid-May to July-end.

The two waves of the deluge inundated a total cropland area of nearly three lakh hectares. While the first wave during the period from May 15 to June 14 affected a total of 89,831.33 hectares of cropland, the second wave (June 15-July 29) inundated 1,90,176.73 hectares.

The agriculture department has, meanwhile, submitted a proposal for an amount of Rs 139 crore under SDRF to ASDMA for preparation of an �Interim Flood Memorandum-2020�.

The total number of farm families affected is nearly ten lakh in 10,551 villages across 27 districts.

Revealing this, an official of the agriculture department told The Assam Tribune that both summer paddy (early ahu and boro paddy) and winter paddy (bao, sali and ahu) suffered extensive damage in the floods. While flood waters submerged 57,683.32 hectares and 20,268.08 hectares respectively during the two waves, the affected area under winter paddy was 4,123.71 hectares and 98,673.28 hectares respectively. Autumn paddy (regular ahu) was hit to the tune of 258.4 hectares and 7,914.69 hectares respectively.

�We have submitted an interim proposal for Rs 139 crore. After recession of floods, assessment of crop damage would be done as per norms and the proposal for compensation as per format will be submitted to ASDMA for providing financial assistance to affected farmers through direct benefit transfer (DBT),� the official said.

The department has also taken up some measures to mitigate crop damage suffered by the farmers. These include allocation of Rs 9 crore under RKVY for raising a community nursery for an area of 1,957 hectares at the rate of Rs 46,000 per hectare.

�This will cover an area of 19,570 hectares of transplanted sali paddy area benefitting 58,710 farmers... The variety provided for raising community nursery is Ranjit Sub-1 which can withstand flood up to 15 days of submergence,� the official said.

�There is a budgetary provision of Rs 38.43 crore for flood damage restoration under SOPD scheme during 2020-21 to mitigate crop loss due to floods through distribution of rabi seeds such as ground nut, pulse seeds like pea, lantil, black gram, green gram, etc., and cereals like summer paddy, maize, and assorted winter and summer vegetables and onion seeds � covering an area of 67,500 hectares and 2,51,880 flood-affected farmers ,� the official said.

Arrangement has also been made for distribution of sali paddy seeds at subsidised rates with flood-tolerant varieties Binadhan-11 and Ranjit Sub-1. Around 65,000 quintals of these varieties are being distributed under BGREI and NFSM programmers.

�Forty thousand quintals of certified seeds of black gram and green gram at subsidised rates will be distributed to 2.5 lakh farmers covering one lakh hectares to increase pulse production under National Food Security Mission. Provision has also been made to distribute 20,000 quintals of certified seeds of rapeseed and mustard at subsidised rates to five lakh farmers covering two lakh hectares to enhance production and productivity of oilseeds,� he added.

The department will undertake a massive rabi programme through different centrally-sponsored programmes to compensate crop loss caused by the floods.

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