Orissa to set up agriculture information centres

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 21 (UNI) The Orissa government today decided to open agriculture information and consultation centres in each of the 314 blocks of the state to provide latest information to the farmers.

Official sources here said the government had decided to open hundred centres by this year and allocated Rs 25 crore for the purpose.

The decision was disclosed at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to review the implementation of the new agriculture policy.

The meeting also revealed that the state has a recorded a record growth of ten per cent in food grain production during 2007-08 against the national average of 4.5 per cent.

The government hoped that despite the flood the production of food grains in the state would be better this year.

Due to the pro-active steps of the government the seed replacement rate had also increased from 7 per cent earlier to 12.04 per cent now and more than 54 lakh food plants produced through various government and private nurseries.

The Chief Minister has directed the officials to ensure that the small and marginal farmers get the maximum benefite from the new agriculture policy.

Agriculture director Arabinda Padhi told newspersons here that the use of fertiliser during the current rabi season will substantilly rise and reach 80 kg per hectare.

The use of fertiliser was 60.7 kg per hectare during the last Khariff season and 47 kg in 2006.

He said the state government had taken special initiatives to popularise the use of modern farm implements among the small and marginal farmers.

The farmers have shown keen interest in farm equipment. Like the last five years, the government targetted to sell highest number of power tillers to farmers in the country this year also.

The meeting also decided undertake mass spray of pesticides in the areas where the pest problem has taken a epidemic form.

Mr Padhi said the crop in Jagatsinghpur, Puri and in Banki areas of Cuttack district were adversely affected by Kalimundi pests.

He said a subsidy of Rs 10,000 would be given to farmers in areas affected due to moisture stress for the purchase of diesel pump sets.

Sources said inclusive subsidy would be given to farmers where the crop loss was more than 50 per cent. As per the report out of 4.29 lakh hectares where the crop was damaged in the flood more than 50 per cent crop loss was reported in 3.52 lakh hectares of land.

He said Rs 97 crore had been earmarked for the purpose.

UNI BD KK SS2107

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