Naveen Patnaik meets Sharad Pawar; seeks support to compensate farmers.

Hon`ble Chief Minister met Hon`ble Union Minister for Agriculture, Food & Public Distribution and apprised him that the unseasonal rains caused by the cyclonic depression in the Bay of Bengal during the first fortnight of December 2010 have severely impacted the quality and quantum of paddy crop in the State.

He informed that, during the last 6 months of the Calender year 2010, Orissa has faced a Calamity of Rare Severity, affecting about 73% of the villages in the State. Over 19 lakh hectares of the cropped area in the State has faced crop loss of more than 50% on account of the acute drought that occurred during August & September 2010 followed by unseasonal heavy rains in December 2010.

Hon` ble Chief Minister informed that the calamity has caused extreme distress to the farmers of the State, who need to be provided with adequate and timely support to compensate for their losses. He stated that the tests conducted on harvested paddy throughout the State reveal that the December, 2010 rains have caused extensive damage to the paddy crop including discolouring of paddy. The situation calls for relaxation of the Fair Average Quality (FAQ) norms for Orissa, without any value cut, in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the paddy and rice, he asserted.

Hon`ble Chief Minister also drew attention of the Hon`ble Union Minister of Agriculture about non-declaration of any bonus on Minimum Support Price (MSP) by Govt. of India for the current Khariff Marketing Season. Hon`ble Chief Minister stated that there is an urgent need, to announce bonus of at least Rs.100/- per quintal over and above the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to provide relief to the farmers of Orissa.

Hon`ble Union Minister appreciated the concerns of the State as brought out by the Hon`ble Chief Minister and assured his full support. He stated that he was aware of the difficult conditions being faced by the farmers of the Orissa particularly on account of unseasonal rains of December 2010 that he will take all feasible measures to provide maximum relief to the farmers.

Union Agriculture Minister stated that the central quality control team has been sent to Orissa for taking samples of paddy and after receipt of their reports in next week , appropriate relaxation in FAQ norms without value cut will be provided to Orissa.

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