Berhampur (Odisha): The farmers, who were badly affected by cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods a year ago in Ganjam, are yet to get crop damage assistance from the state government.
Crop over 2.96 lakh hectare was damaged in the cyclonic storm, which hit Odisha coast on October 12, 2013. Floods ravaged the district between October 22 and 27.
Official data showed over 6 lakh farmers across all blocks of the district were affected and paddy production decreased to around 70 per cent last year.
The average annual paddy production in the district stands at 28.32 quintal a hectare, while we got only 6.52 quintal a hectare last year, said Deputy Director of Agriculture, Ganjam, Sudarshan Mohanty.
The actual production was 14,572 metric tonne as against the target of 63,295 metric tonne, he said.
The extent of crop damage in the district was assessed by the agriculture, revenue and statistics departments, officials said the district administration sought over Rs 242.92 crore as crop damage assistance, but the government has provided only Rs 203.39 crore so far.
Of this, Rs 107.91 crore were distributed among 2.65 lakh farmers till Saturday, said district Emergency Officer Sudhakar Sabar. The amount was directly transferred to bank accounts of the beneficiaries. “The payment was delayed as several farmers did not have an account,” said a tehsildar.
Assistance was provided to the affected farmers in accordance with the category of land as specified in the relief code.
While assistance for over 50 per cent crop damage in rain-fed land has been pegged at Rs 4,500 a hectare, Rs 9,000 and Rs 12,000 a hectare are being provided for crop damage in irrigated and perennial land, respectively, officials said.