Posts filed under ‘Agriculture and Irrigation’

Market worry for cotton growers in Sonepur and Boudh districts

Following is a report from the Sambad:Cotton

Following is a report from the TNIE:

SONEPUR/BOUDH:Cotton crop grown in Sonepur and Boudh districts would be ready for harvest in next two months. But the farmers are a worried lot. In absence of an organised market for sale of their produce, they are left at the mercy of a spinning mill owner in Sonepur and middlemen.

Since Kolkata-based mill owner procures cotton at less than market price, the farmers have to travel to a cotton market in the neighbouring Balangir.This year, cotton has been grown over 3,000 hectares (ha) of land in Birmaharajpur, Ulunda and Tarbha blocks and some pockets of Sonepur. But, the district administration has made no effort to rope in agencies for procurement or open mandis.

While a decision was taken to open mandis two years back, there has been no headway in this direction. This has exposed the growers to middlemen who are on the prowl to purchase cotton at low price.

Although in a meeting of the District Level Monitoring Committee for Cotton presided by Sonepur Collector Dasarathi Satpathy held in October last year, it was decided that a cotton mandi would function under Regulated Market Committee (RMC) at Birmaharajpur, work on the structure and its godown is far from complete. Only after its completion, RMC can invite the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to open procurement centre at the mandi.

Earlier, due to the intervention of former Sonepur Collector Bhawani Shankar Panda, the spinning mill was procuring cotton at market rate and the purchase amount was directly deposited in the account of farmers. The arrangement  was in place for three years till Panda retired in March this year. The farmers alleged that now the spinning mill owner is dictating terms as far as procurement is concerned and they are forced to travel all the way to Balangir to sell cotton at a mandi there. They said if the old system is put back in place, the procurement problem would be resolved.

The situation is no way different in Boudh where the farmers also sell their produce either at the Sonepur spinning mill or mandis in Balangir and Phulbani.The officials, however, said steps are being taken to streamline the procurement system. While Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sonepur, PK Samantray said RMC was working on developing a mandi at Birmaharajpur, secretary of the RMC Banamali Nayak said a godown is being constructed at Badkhamar village. Nayak said once the construction is complete, RMC would move the CCI for procurement of cotton.

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September 21, 2017 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Drought cloud over Nuakhai in western Odisha

Following is a report TNIE:

Drought scare looms over the celebration of mass agrarian festival Nuakhai slated to be observed on August 26. With drought stalking districts of Nuapada, Balangir, Kalahandi and rain-fed areas of Bargarh, the peasants and marginal farmers have been robbed of their purchasing power.

On the other hand, the situation has come in handy for labour sardars who are on the prowl offering advance to lure gullible landless and poor peasants to migrate to alien lands promising greener pasture.
With no money in hand and aware of the impending drought, the landless and poor have been caught between poverty and tradition. While the helpless peasants need money to celebrate Nuakhai, they also have to sustain their families.

Caught in this dilemma, they land in the trap of labour sardars who offer them advance money for Nuakhai celebration and traffic them mostly to brick kilns where they are forced to work in inhuman condition.

With rains failing farmers in the districts of Nuapada, Balangir, parts of Kalahandi besides Padampur sub-division in Bargarh, it is said that the sardars will have a flourishing trade this year. With successive crop loss and debt burden haunting the farmers, the labour sardars are looking forward to traffic more people trapped in poverty and debt.

While Nuapada Labour Officer Mukta Lal Naik could not be reached, the lone clerk in his office said no labour contractor has applied for licence as yet in the district.
Similarly, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Balangir Saroj Ranjit said fresh registration of labour contractors has not yet begun. Registration will start after Nuakhai, Ranjit added.

August 27, 2017 at 5:56 am Leave a comment

Kalahandi livestock on depletion path

Following report is from TNIE:

BHAWANIPATNA: THE cattle population in Kalahandi district has witnessed substantial decline since 2001. With no support from the local administration, the animal husbandry sector is a victim of manpower shortage and poor infrastructure.
Kalahandi district has three veterinary hospitals, 18 veterinary dispensaries, 119 livestock aid centres, 126 artificial insemination centres. But, the district does not have a regular Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) with the Sub-Divisional Veterinary Officer of Dharamgarh holding the additional charge of the CDVO.

The district requires eight veterinary surgeons but the posts at Lanjigarh, Karlamunda, Borda and Charbahal are lying vacant. The surgeon of Ladugaon veterinary dispensary has been deputed to work in Odisha Biological Products Limited (BOPL) at Berhampur. Similarly, out of 13 posts of assistant veterinary surgeons, seven are vacant. The Bhawanipatna District Veterinary Hospital is functioning without a Deputy Director while assistant veterinary surgeon post is being managed by the livestock inspector. The Deputy Director has been deployed to work at Nayagarh. While the district has 12 sanctioned block veterinary officer posts, seven of them are lying vacant in Kesinga, M Rampur, Thuamul Rampur, Kalampur, Koksera, Jaipatna and Golamunda.
As far as infrastructure is concerned, out of 305 gram panchayats, 142 have no livestock aid centres. Of the existing 119 aid centres, 95 have no power supply. As a result, vaccines and medicines cannot be preserved in refrigerators.

There are 126 artificial insemination centres in the district but 16 of them do not have permanent building. Although there are 115 mobile veterinary units to cater to needs of livestock farmers in inaccessible pockets, several posts in these units are vacant. Each mobile unit requires one veterinary surgeon, a livestock inspector and one attendant.
According to the cattle census of 2001,2007 and 2012, there has been a consistent reduction in livestock population in the district. It is attributed to lack of manpower and infrastructure apart from cattle smuggling by traders to slaughter houses.

The cattle population (cow) came down from 4,81,056 in 2001 to  3,11,732 in 2007 and 3,10,875 in 2012. Similarly, buffalo population declined during the period. In 2001, it was 95,534, in 2007 it was 55,747 and in 2012, the number came down to 43,764.
Currently, the district administration is preparing for 2017 cattle census. Field staff of the Animal Husbandry Department said the livestock population is likely to come down further this time.

WHERE ARE THE VETS?

  • The dist requires 8 veterinary surgeons but 4 posts at Lanjigarh, Karlamunda, Borda and Charbahal are lying vacant
    ● Out of 13 posts of assistant veterinary  surgeons, 7 are vacant
    ● District Veterinary Hospital is functioning without a deputy director

June 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Drought hits Deogaon block of Balangir district

Following is a report from the Sambad:

deogan

September 17, 2016 at 5:37 am Leave a comment

Mahanadi issue, western Odisha and Chatisgarh

A large number of poor people from Nuapada, Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur and Bargarh districts are working as rickshaw puller and daily laborer in Raipur and other cities of Chatisgad. These people prefer to work in Raipur, and not in Bhubaneswar because of ease of language understanding.

The current Odisha government should try to resolve the Mahanadi issue by dialogue through proper channel. Unnecessary blocking of trains, and violent protests against Chatisgad will create problem for poor Koshali people living in Raipur and other cities.

CM Naveen Patnaik must resolve this matter with utmost care!

August 14, 2016 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Farmers insecure over dams on the Mahanadi

Following report is from The Statesman:

Farmers across Western Odisha feel insecure over the war of words between the ruling BJD and Opposition BJP regarding construction of dams and barrages upstream of river Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government.

The Hirakud command area spreads across 935 square kilometer and water from the reservoir irrigates both during the kharif and rabi season. If the water is retained in Chhattisgarh, a large stretch of this area will starve of irrigation during the non-monsoon seasons.

“Instead of adopting a confrontationist attitude, the Odisha government should talk to the BJP and the Chhattisgarh government. They should work together and find a solution beneficial to farmers of both the states,” said G Suryanarayn, a leading farmer of Gourtikra village in Bargarh district coming under the Hirakud command area.
“Political statements by BJD or BJP will not solve the problem, it is farmers of the state who will be at the losing end”, he remarked.

Similarly, Ramsagar Sahu, another leading farmer under the Sasan canal system sees the political gamesmanship of the BJD as disastrous for farmers.

Instead of threatening agitations, the CM ought to have talked to his Chhattisgarh counterpart and arranged for a meeting between officers of both the states.

“Had Biju Patnaik been alive he would have picked up the telephone and spoken to the Chhattisgarh CM rather than allow his party workers make meaningless noises,” he remarked.

Bijay Behera, a businessman cum environmentalist said the BJP leaders in Odisha are a worried lot as they understand the political fallout if Chhattisgarh goes ahead with the projects. Even industrial circles are worried as they fear that once there is less inflow of water to Hirakud, industrial water used will be the first casualty since the policy for using water is drinking, irrigation , power generation and then industrial use.

It may be recalled that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Prime Minister drawing his attention to the construction of barrage and dams by the Chhattisgarh government and questioning the silence of the Central Water Commission. The ruling BJD has adopted a resolution objecting to such ‘ arbitrary’ decisions taken by the Chhattisgarh government and said it will voice its protest at every given forum. The Opposition Congress and BJP have, on their part demanded an all party meeting to discuss the issue.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra has also written to the PM and the CM. He suggested that he was willing to convene all party meeting, if the CM , for some inexplicable reason is reluctant to do so.

July 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

Odisha approves a parboiled rice mill and co-generation biomass power plant at Kalahandi

Following report is from: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/odisha-approves-two-projects-worth-rs-470-crore_4996221.html#discontent_div

Odisha’s State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) accorded in-principle approval to two investment proposals worth Rs 470 crore. The SLSWCA meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi approved a proposal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) to set up a common user facility (CUF) for storage of petroleum products at Meramunduli in Dhenkanal district at an investment of Rs 270 crore, said Kalyan Mohanty, General Manager of Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL).

It also approved a proposal of Starlight Energy Limited to set up an integrated grain based distillery unit along with a parboiled rice mill and co-generation biomass power plant at Goud Sariguda in Kalahandi district with a total investment of Rs 137 crore. The CUF project is a common arrangement of IOC L, BPCL and HPCL and will cater to receipt and storage of petroleum products like petrol, diesel, kerosene, fuel oil, light diesel and high performance petrol, he said.

Mohanty added that the project will require 90 acres of land, 3 KL/day water and 450 KW of power and provide direct and contractual employment to around 344 people. Starlight Energy’s project requires 195 acres and 1 MW power as stand by for start-up of the biomass power plant. It will use broken rice from rice mills, besides maize and other grains produced in Odisha for the distillery unit, while husk from the rice mills will be used as principal raw material for production of biomass power. It will produce neutral alcohol for medicine, ethanol for blending in petrol and anhydrous alcohol for industrial use and provide direct and contractual employment to 108 people, Mohanty added.

January 30, 2016 at 5:12 am Leave a comment

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