IMPHAL, Nov 15 - Manipur�s annual paddy production is likely to fall compared to the previous year as about 33,421 hectares of paddy fields out of 1,95,000 hectares were ravaged by July flood this year. Last year, the productivity of rice was achieved with 2,640 kg/hectare against the National average of 2,177kg/hectare.
Speaking to this correspondent in connection with the July flood and subsequent initiative which are being taken up by the State Agriculture Department to meet the upcoming challenges in Manipur, the State Agriculture Director, Louis Ngasainao, said, �We have submitted a proposal (detailed project report) worth Rs 5 crore to the Central Government through the State Government under the contingency plan.�
�So far there is no response from the State as well as the Central Government in this regard,� said Louis Ngasainao, who assumed the Director of the Agriculture Department since February 24 this year. �On the other hand, we have started to distribute mustard and pea seeds in the hill districts and it will be followed by the valley districts.�
Stating that the natural calamities such as floods and droughts occur due to global warming and climate change and those would continue to occur in the future too, the Agriculture Director emphasised on the modernisation of the jhum cultivation in the State. �We have taken up an initiative in this regard,� he added.
Altogether, 19,164 hectares of paddy fields were affected in Thoubal district alone, followed by Imphal East where 4,881 hectares of paddy fields were ravaged by the floods.
Interestingly in total 5,286 hectares of agricultural fields, including 3,618 hectares of paddy fields were also affected in the five hill districts during the extensive floods in the State.
Among the five hill districts, Ukhrul was worst affected district. Total agricultural fields measuring around 2,417 hectares, including 1,319 hectares (paddy), 1020 hectares (maize), 23 hectares (soyabean) and 20 hectares (blackgram) and 15 hectares (ground nut) followed by Chandel having affected maximum agricultural fields measuring around 1,967 hectares, including 1,415 hectares (paddy), 286 hectares (maize), 124 hectares (oilseed) and 142 hectares (pulses). Other affected districts include Bishnupur (3,320 hectares), Imphal West 2,329 (hectares).