State to send ‘drought’ report to Centre by Aug 31

| | Ranchi
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State to send ‘drought’ report to Centre by Aug 31

Sunday, 18 August 2019 | Saurav Roy | Ranchi

The Department of Agriculture has decided to send a final report on the drought-like situation here to the Centre on August 31 and seek necessary intervention depending on the situation, officials from the Directorate of Agriculture said on Saturday.

According to figures with the Directorate, Jharkhand, which witnessed a rainfall deficit of 35 per cent by the beginning of July, received 75 per cent of ideal rainfall in July and 80 per cent of ideal rainfall in the month of August so far. Rains since mid-July have somewhat made up for the deficit during the advent of Monsoon here, officials said.

“We had decided to take a call on the situation after August 15. The good news is that many parts of the State have witnessed heavy rainfall lately and the situation is improving. We will send a final review report to the Centre on August 31 and seek necessary interventions as per the requirement,” said Deputy Director of Agriculture, Mukesh Sinha.

Agro meteorological scientists, however, feel that the recent rainfall will improve the condition of farmers, who are still recovering from the jolts of a major drought last year. “After the initial dry spell, rains have lashed many parts of the State and the deficit has also reduced. The situation is improving,” said A Wadood, Agro meteorological scientist at Birsa Agriculture University in Ranchi.

In 2018, the State declared 18 of 24 districts drought-affected. As many as 93 blocks were declared severely affected, while 36 were told to be moderately affected. As per weather experts, seven districts — Koderma, Bokaro, Chatra, Deoghar, Garhwa, Khunti, Pakur — recorded rain deficit of 40 per cent and above during monsoon in 2018. Koderma and Pakur districts received 55 per cent less rains than its normal monsoon quota. The delayed onset of monsoon caused a rain deficit of at least 33 per cent last year in June, which disturbed the sowing process.

This year, the opposition parties have been mounting pressure on the Government to declare entire Jharkhand drought-hit. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the second largest party in the State assembly, has demanded declaration of drought across the State and immediate measures for ensuring relief to farmers.

The Government, on the other hand, rolled out the Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana (MMKAY) in Ranchi on August 10 and disbursed an amount of Rs 5,000 for each acre of land to at least 13 lakh farmers who had registered under the scheme. Agriculture Secretary Puja Singhal said that the scheme will provide relief to farmers in case Jharkhand has to suffer from another year of drought.

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