TODAY -

Improve irrigation network, save compensation loss
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: September 02, 2022 -



IF the prevailing dry spell continues for some more days, then it is obvious that the standing crops, rice paddy in particular, planted in areas bereft of irrigation facility will fail and the government will have to step in to compensate the loss suffered by the farmers.

As such, it is but inevitable that agriculture minister Thongam Biswajit has assured of payment of compensation to farmers whose crops have been affected by the drought-like situation prevailing in some of the districts due to lack of rainfall.

It's ironical that the minister made the announcement to compensate the farmers on the very day he carried out inspection of agro-markets and warehouses, training hall cum hostels being constructed in various districts under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare as all these facilities wouldn't serve any purpose without bumper harvest by the food producers.

Accepted that availability of food grain storages, markets for sale of the agricultural produces and training institutes are equally important to improve the economy but the objective of the Union government to fund construction of these facilities wouldn't reap the fruit in case the production level could not be enhanced.

Amid the dire condition besetting the farmer community they would be elated that minister Biswajit has acknowledged gravity of the problem arising out of scanty rainfall with some of the districts facing drought and consequently affecting farming activities in this part of the year when the paddy fields should face no shortage of water.

According to the minister, the Agriculture Department has provided electric water pumps to irrigate the fields but such an arrangement lay bare the fact that the promises made in the formative years of the present government to improve the irrigation network across the state are far from being a reality.

Absence of viable irrigation network in the state is akin to rubbing salt on the wounds of the farmers, for the food producers from different corners have been complaining about shortage of urea fertiliser regardless of the department officials contending that there is enough stock of the essential plant food.

Almost every year, officials of Agriculture Department and successive ministers had been contending that steps are taken up to ensure proper and adequate supply of fertilisers contrary to which farmers fume and rant at the government over shortage of the same thereby indicating that the government has not be able to live up to the expectation of the food grain producers.

The farmers' complaints are not limited to irregularities in the distribution of fertilisers to the deserving section of the society but also include expression of annoyance over availability of the same item in the market, though in rates dictated by the dealers.

Thus, it is imperative that along with ensuring timely and fair distribution of fertiliser, the Agriculture Department accord importance to improving the irrigation network without which the state will continue to be dependent on others for the basic food crops and experience depletion of its limited financial resource in paying compensation to appease the farmers.



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