Loans to ryots to be rescheduled

Staff Reporter

Credit scheme for more ryots

5 districts given priority for cotton farming

SBI will provide Rs. 21 crores to women self-help groups

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Government has decided to reschedule the repayment of farm loans availed by 4.88 lakh farmers of the State. The decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Wednesday.

Of those 4.88 lakh farmers, whose loan repayments were to be rescheduled, 2.78 lakh farmers had already been granted fresh loans while 2.10 lakh farmers would be provided with farm credits by the end of 2007-2008 fiscal, the Chief Minister’s Office said here.

The meeting also resolved to cover nine lakh additional farmers under Kissan credit scheme within the next three years. State’s agricultural scene was scanned in view of an impending package on agriculture to be announced by the Chief Minister shortly.

Contract farming

Director of Agriculture and Food Production Arabinda Padhee said the State Government was going to take up contract farming for cotton in a big way during next few months. "We are going to cover around 52,000 ha of land under contract farming for cotton targeting 5,500 farmers against 14,000 ha in 2006-07."

Five districts -- Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir and Sonepur -- have been identified as priority districts for cotton farming. Ganjam and Gajapati are two other districts having potential for cotton farming, the meeting felt. The cotton mandis would be set up in the two districts.

"The agro-climatic condition of the State is such that risk of pest attack is very low. That’s why emphasis should be given to cotton farming," it resolved.

The review meeting also cleared revival plan of State-run 67 seed development firms to raise certified seed production from the present 2 lakh quintal to 5 lakh quintal during next three years. The necessary funds for the programme would be mobilised from the fund under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Mr. Padhee said. To help farmers plan their crop, soil testing kits had been supplied to all the 314 blocks of the state, he said.

Moreover, the State Bank of India would provide assistance to the tune of Rs. 21 crores to women self-help groups who would take up fishing as their main project.

In horticulture segment, mango trees would be planted on 15100 ha during the current fiscal, the meeting resolved.

Similarly, target of 2040 ha for banana, 1125 ha for onion and 3250 ha for floriculture had been fixed.

Among others Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, Development Commissioner R. N. Bohidar, Agriculture Production Commissioner S. P. Nanda and Agriculture Secretary H. S. Chahar attended the meeting.

5 districts given priority for cotton farming

SBI will provide Rs. 21 crores to women self-help groups

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