A dry paddyfield at Balitara in Nalbari district on Tuesday. – UB Photos
GUWAHATI, Aug 8 – A number of districts, mostly those in lower Assam, are facing a drought-like situation even as flood waters in some areas of the State are yet to recede completely.
The State Agriculture department has sought a report from the districts regarding the prevailing situation.
A senior State Agriculture officer today told The Assam Tribune that a drought report has been received from Baksa, while district officers in the State, particularly those in Mangaldai, Nalbari, Kamrup, Chirang, etc., which have been reportedly hit due to scanty rainfall and high temperatures, have been asked to conduct surveys and report to the government on the situation.
According to the report received from Baksa, around 14673.76 hectares of cropland in 302 villages have been affected by the drought-like situation. The number of farmer families affected stands at 4,820 till August 2.
Sali paddy and vegetable cultivation have been hit by the drought-like situation.
Sources said the government has directed the engineering wing of the Agriculture Department to install tube wells and other irrigation facilities in the affected areas immediately.
Siltation: On the contrary, in the flood-hit districts, around 6,250 hectares of cropland have been affected by heavy siltation.
“In most cases it is due to the breaches in the embankments. The silt and mud carried by the flood waters have settled on the croplands as the flood waters are receding. This phenomenon will make the croplands unfit for cultivation,” an official in the engineering section of the Agriculture Department apprised.
He said in areas where the siltation is not much – say around 5 cm to one feet depth – deep ploughing could help restore the croplands.
“But if the siltation is thicker, then alternative methods need to be adopted. Then the farmers need to dug a pit, fill it with compost and opt for the crops like gourds,” the official said.
The Agriculture Department is assessing the condition of the croplands and depending on the analysis, remedial steps would be taken.
Till yesterday, floods had affected an aggregate crop area of 209051.65 hectares in 29 districts.
Under its Disaster Management Scheme, the Agriculture Department has prepared an action plan to deal with the devastation caused by the floods. Raising of Sali seedlings in community nurseries, tractorisation for cultivation of Rabi crops, distribution of Rabi crop seeds, etc., are part of the action plan, which has already been initiated.
News Source Assam Tribune