TODAY -
70 % crop failure expected due to drought: Loken
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 31, 2009: Though cultivation rice crop was able to the extend of 1.20 lakh hectares out of total 1.95 lakh hectares of paddy fields across the state despite drought, still there is apprehension of failure of crop to 70 % of the total cultivated paddy field, said state agriculture minister, N Loken who is also in-charge of the minor irrigation department.

The cultivation of paddy crop, the main crop of the state is greatly hit by scanty rainfall in the state in the early part of the season.

Despite the assistant of the government after the declaration of agricultural drought cultivation to around 1.12 lakhs hectares estimated by the authority of the agriculture department.

This is out of the total 1.92 lakh hectares of cultibale paddy field of the state and also out of total 2.34 lakh hectares of land which can grow food crops.

But, state agriculture minister, N Loken today during an inspection to the Model Seed Villages of the department said that now an estimated 70 percent of the paddy growing fields are not getting adequate water as there were no perennial water supply source in these fields.

"Delay in the supply of crop seeds to the farmer on time and having no proper irrigation network despite having irrigation potential are the reasons behind the apprehension of failure of crop," Loken who is also in-charge of the state minor irrigation department said.

Minister while inspecting the Model Seeds Villages set up under the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) in Imphal west districts further said that his department has incurred Rs 7 crore in combating agriculture drought in the state.

Despite, the best efforts of the department to combat with drought, still, at the end of August month, the cultivation works are carrying out by the farmers, the minister said while expressing concern over the delay.

In Manipur, in normal season all paddy cultivable works completed by July first week at the late as delay beyond this, paddy could not bear fruit with the advent cold season from September.

Talking to farmers at Haorang Keiren Model Seed Village in Imphal west district, Loken informed the farmers that his department is all set in advance to cope up with the likelihood shortage food production in kharif (summer) season during the rabi (winter) season with an appeal to the farmers to prepare for the same.

Department has started procuring seeds of rabi crops so that cultivation of these crops can be started as early as possible with the on set of winter, the minister added while expressing satisfaction with the carrying out of paddy cultivation of paddy in successful way in the Model Seed Villages he inspected.

The drought did not hit to growing paddy in the Model Seed Villages as officials implementing the schemes take outmost care with a hope to able to store quality control paddy seeds for the next season.

Deputy Director (Soil Chemist), Ph Rajendro who is leading the IPM and INM team in setting up the Model Seed Villages said "drought not affected in growing rice to 900 hectares of fields at different Model Seed Villages across the four valley districts.

"We have tried by hook and cook to irrigate the fields to grow paddy on time and for fruitful harvest as we are keeping hope of collecting maximum rice from these fields to deal with the rice seed shortage which is likely to face by the farmers in next season," Rajendro said.

Considering the problems facing by the department in procuring crop seeds from outside the state, the IPM and INM team tried their best for maximum output, Rajendro said recalling the problems facing the department in importing certified crops seeds.

Expressing apprehension of failure of the crops this year, agriculture director RK Noyon who is also the chairperson of the IPM and INM Monitoring Committee said the department could not expect a good harvest this year.

The state requires around 5 lakhs matric tones of rice for consumption.

To meet the demand, farmers need to give keen interest to rabi cropping, she observed.

Agriculture scientists of the Central Agricultural University also demonstrated the erection of phermom trap in the fields to control yellow step borer (nungyen) in the paddy plant, a technique to control the insect using successfully by the farmers of the Model Seed Village in the last around three years during the minister's team inspection programme.

The team inspected Model Seed Villages in Haorang Kairang, Maklang and Canchipur where rice cultivation with strict guidelines of IPM and INM team are carrying on.

The IPM and INM team comprise of officials of the agriculture office (chemistry) and agricultural scientists of CAU, Iroishemba.


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