October 2013 was a critical month for the farmers of Odisha. Cyclone Phailin and subsequently heavy flood devastated the crops in 18 districts. More than 12 lakh hectares of area was affected, of which 7.82 lakh ha of area sustained more than 50% damages. Mind-boggling numbers of cattle were lost; low tension lines of hundreds of kilometers were damaged.
The government of Odisha under the leadership of honourable CM Naveen Patnaik, faced the calamity with diligent preparations. One million people were evacuated to safety. Relief material was distributed in the affected areas. the preparedness of the state and the way it prevented loss of human lives were widely appreciated.
After the calamity, it became necessary to restore the vitality of agriculture in these affected areas to bring back the farmer community to its continued progress. Therefore the honourable CM announced a special package to the farmers of the affected district.
CM’s special package to the farmers provided for supplying 4 lakh pulse kits to the affected area, to take of 1 lakh hectare of crop demonstrations of pulse and oil seeds and to distribute vegetable kits for 5 lakhs farmers. These activities will be taken up in the current Rabi.
In addition to this, the honourable CM has now declared additional benefits under the special package.
ADDITIONAL PACKAGE FOR THE FARMERS OF CYCLONE/FLOOD AFFECTED AREAS:
1. To increase the productivity of ground nut, 40,000 hectares of demonstration will be conducted in the farmers fields.
2. To revive sugarcane cultivation in affected areas, a special assistance for demonstration on sustainable sugarcane initiative over 600 hectare areas and demonstration on Ratoon management over 8000 hectares will be provided and more than 2,00,000 tissue culture plantlets will be distributed.
3. Seed treatment campaign will be taken up in the affected areas, to cover 1 lakh hectares of paddy and 2 Lakhs hectares of pulses and oil seeds crops.
4. Gypsum will be supplied as soil amendment for oil seed crops covering over 50, 650 hectares at subsidized rate of Rs.20/- per bag of 50 kg.
5. Two lakh families will be provided @10 fruit saplings ( 5 papaya, 2 drumsticks, 3 banana suckers per family in affected districts to sustain livelihoods.
6. Four seedlings of coconuts will be provided to each family free of cost covering 1 lakh farmers.
The crops special package will stimulate the agriculture growth and reaffirm the dedication of the government for the farmers and their welfare.