Deficit rainfall has forced farmers to abandon paddy field: Dept

ITANAGAR, 11 Aug: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall has hit the farmers of the state, which might cause a negative impact on the state’s rice production.

Reportedly, the situation has mostly affected the farmers of East Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Namsai, Changlang and Tirap districts.

“While a small group of farmers with assured government irrigation facilities and with natural irrigation were able to cultivate rice, majority of the farmers, who solely depend on monsoon rains, could not transplant their rice saplings due to a drought-like situation,” the DAOs and HDOs informed this to the Agriculture minister during a video conference on Wednesday.

While reviewing the situation, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki directed the Agriculture secretary to prepare a contingency plan to the deal with the emerging situation. The minister also directed the department to ‘activate’ its officers and field staffs in the districts and send timely situation report to the government.

Some of the DAOs have also reported instances of pest infestation and crop damage.

“The season for transplantation of paddy crop is almost over and, therefore, the farmers have no option but to give up the main paddy crops and cultivate alternate crops,” Agriculture Secretary Bidol Tayeng said.

He said that the Covid-19 situation should not be a ground for delay in implementation of agricultural schemes.

“The farmers have acquainted themselves with Covid-19 situation and the department must reach to them with schemes in time,” Tayeng said, adding: “The department should reach to the rural people through the Panchayat bodies.”