Posts filed under ‘Agriculture’
Following is a report from the Sambad:
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.
After being cornered by opposition parties over rising incidents of farmers’ suicide in the state, Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik today announced a whopping Rs 35,000 crore package for development western Odisha, now reeling under acute drought situation.
The money will be spent in next five years and nearly 80 per cent of it will go towards improvement of the agriculture sector.
More than 100 farmers have allegedly committed suicide in the state in the wake of the drought.
Patnaik’s announcement came at a farmers’ rally convened by the ruling BJD at Sohela in Bargarh district of western Odisha.
He announced a slew of measures including one percent interest on agriculture loan and additional assistance of Rs 100 per quintal during procurement of paddy in the drought affected areas. The BJD party in its election manifesto had announced to lower the interest on agriculture loan.
The package includes Rs 8,000 crore for building of dams in the western part of the state. Two medium irrigation projects will be built in the Bargarh district. One will come up on river Aung at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore while the other will be on river Jeera at a cost of Rs 300 crore.
The state government will spend about Rs 13,000 crore for construction of separate feeder line for supply of power to the farmers and rural electrification. In a reprieve to the farmers, the state government has already decided to suspend collection of crop loan and extend the loan repayment period by three years.
“My government has taken farmers’ issue seriously. I have asked party MPs (members of parliaments), MLAs (members of legislative assembly) and other leaders to meet farmers and extend their help,” said the Chief Minister.
He took a dig at the Centre stating that the Union government has not released a single penny as drought assistance till date while the state government has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for drought relief.
“Odisha faces natural calamities at every two years interval. Natural calamities like Phailin, Hudhud, drought and unseasonal rains have hit the state in last five years. The economy of the state has been hit, but the Centre has ignored the demand for special category status,” said Patnaik.
Patnaik said, “We believe in deeds not in words. They (Opposition) are shedding crocodile tears by calling press conferences which will not resolve the problems of farmers.”
The opposition is trying to weaken the farmers’ confidence. They must stop politicising the plight of farmers, he added.
In retaliation, state unit of Bharatiya Jana Party staged a 12 hour hunger strike at Bhubaneswar.
“It is not a farmers’ rally in western Odisha, it is the convention of the party workers. The convention is against the cause of the farmers”, said Pratap Sadangi, senior BJP leader.
Report by Debadatta Panda , Kalahandi: Farmers suicide case occurring in western Odisha like Bargarh,Sambalpur,Nuapada districts due to heavy loan and loss of crops.Like that in Kalahandi a farmers suicided by hanging in his cropland in the Koksara Block of Kalahandi.Though Kalahandi is irrigated by Upper Indravati Irrigation Project but the Up Land area known as Dandpat area is not irrigated by UIIP.
Secondly serial draught situation attract the local people for the migrant labour work. Bira Majhi aged about 55 years of Dhanpur village in Koksara Block of Kalahandi has suicided b y hanging himself.It is known that BIra was a small farmer having two acres of land as his paternal property and by cultivating that he was managing his family.He has given marriage to his two daughters and sent his two sons as migrant labourer for income and he was planning to repay his all of the loan made for the marriage and cultivation from the crop income .
But on the draught situation the crop is going to be damaged the crop is to be damaged and his dream is to be smashes and Bira became mentally pressurised as told by the family mambers. As told by the wife of the deceased Bira,on the day of occurance Bira went to his crop land after his morning day to day work in a normal mind and at ten o clock they informed that Bira suicided on a Nimb tree at his cropland. Koksara police came to the spot and inquest the dead body and hand over to the family. But the family members as well as the villagers came to the NH26 at Koksara and demonstrated a Dharana demanding more help to the Bira”s family. Koksara Tahasildar and ABDO came to the demonstrators and assured them to provide all govt assistances to the deceased then the demonstration was called up.
The farmers suicide cases spread throughout the western Odisha and now occurred in Kalahandi.It is anot a good symbol for the farmers said the intellectuals.Govt should take remarkable steps for the welfare of the farmers, demanded by the farmers organisations.
Saket Sreebhushan Sahu
Suicides reports of fourteen farmers from Western Odisha within a fortnight have gripped the whole region in shock and grief. Politician donot bothered about it because it is not an election time. Neither had we heard any sympathetic words from the agriculture minister in any media.
The culture, economy and society of Western Odisha have evolved by build-up with a cohesive bonding affiliating to agriculture since time immemorial. Western Odisha is based on an agrarian economy. If harvesting of crop is good, farming community thinks about marriages in the family. If crop harvesting is not as per expectation, they postponed marriages. All the major festivals like Nuankhai and Phuspuni are agrarian. While Nuankhai is the festival of first crop cutting and offering it to the God/Godess, Phuspuni is the harvesting festival. Today, Nuankhai is celebrated even in foreign countries and major metros of India by the non-residents. But the man behind the Nuankhai and Phuspuni festival, the farmers, is living in an unspeakable pathos and insurmountable grief.
The state government has all kind of schemes for all categories of people but none are in use; all government schemes are as if meant for the thekadar and chamcha of the ruling political party.
The Government collects huge revenue from this region, almost 75 per cent. But never works for the tax payer. The farming community who filled the state treasury is abandoned like anything. Farmers are deprived of their basic rights. They are neglected. If a state is not meant for its subjects then the subjects have to introspect about the state. Time has arrived.
Author Comments on Politics and Culture. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.
SAMBALPUR: Even as Western Odisha, frequented by drought for the last few years, is looking forward to bumper harvest this kharif season, crop loss due to lack of adequate rainfall during growing and maturing stage of plants has been reported from a few pockets of the region.
While during the initial stage of monsoon there was deficit rainfall in the region, it was supplemented by heavy rain at a later stage. Subsequently the monsoon became weak and there was virtually no rain during the flowering stage of the crop that led to pest attack and moisture stressed condition. Even as farmers of the affected areas lost hope of any yield, district agriculture officials ruled out drought-like condition.
Reports from Bamra block in Sambalpur district state that paddy yield will be affected with the block receiving scattered rain when it was most required during growing stage. Farmers alleged that it is difficult for them to regain even the labour cost.
They said while the farm fields have developed cracks, lack of adequate water during flowering stage of paddy led to moisture stress condition in plant’s cells and subsequent damage to the crop. In Parmanpur village under Pindapathar panchayat of the block, the farmers have let their cattle to graze in paddy fields as they have lost hope of any yield.
Padampur BJP MLA Pradip Purohit claimed that moisture stress condition has also been reported from Hirapur, Kechodadar, Cheliamal, Mandiadhipa, Baidpali, Bhenrajpur villages under Paikmal block of Bargarh district. Purohit said he has asked the Tehsildar to submit a report on the situation so that farmers can get relief in time. He said he would write to the Collector and the Chief Minister on the issue urging them to compensate the farmers.
Similar reports have been received from Baliposhi, Kanchada, Budibahal, Chakuliain, Purukunda, Rambhae, Dantaribahal and Kantapali villages under Barkote block of Deogarh district.
However, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sambalpur, Ashok Kumar Mohanty said there are some complaints of moisture stress condition from highland areas. But overall crop production would be good and denied drought condition in the district. He further said the crop is almost ready to harvest and his office has not received any report of crop loss.
Admitting stray cases of drought-like situation in some pockets across 14 blocks of the district, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Balangir, Manoranjan Mallick said it should not be construed as drought as majority of areas would have bumper harvest.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Nuapada, Antaryami Mandal informed that paddy has been cultivated over 82,000 hectares of land and the crop has done exceedingly well in the district. There is no chance of drought revisiting the district, he claimed.