GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - The State is unlikely to meet the rice production target set for this year due to the flood fury, with the agriculture department estimating that the shortfall could be to the tune of 6 lakh metric tonnes.
Agriculture minister Atul Bora today said the target for rice production this year was 62 lakh metric tonnes, but as the floods have severely hit the sali paddy, the State is likely to suffer a shortfall of around 6 lakh metric tonnes.
In the year 2015-16, rice production of Assam was 53 lakh metric tonnes.
Bora said around 6.29 lakh farmer families in 4,717 villages have been hit in the flood this year so far. Sali paddy production in 1.73 lakh hectares has been affected in this year�s deluge, besides vegetables in 10,692 hectares, jute in over 7,000 hectares, etc. A total of 3.08 lakh hectares of crop land have been affected so far in the floods, he said.
�Farmers cultivating sali paddy are unlikely to make any gains this year. So we are laying stress on the rabi crops. We are giving more thrust on crops like mustard, potato, onion, pumpkin, gourd, etc.,� the minister said, adding the government will supply the seeds under various government schemes.
Bora said district agriculture officers have been asked to compile a list of farmers who have been affected by the floods. The government will pay a compensation through DBT (direct benefit transfer) system to the farmers and the money will be deposited in the bank accounts of the farmers.
The minister also said 6,615 hectares of crop land in the districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Darrang, Golaghat, Majuli and Barpeta have been affected by severe siltation. Though the government had planned to clear the silt by allotting works under the MGNREGA, due to the severity of the problem other measures will have to be taken to deal with the problem.