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Union Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on a two-day visit to Odisha

Bhubaneswar:12/11/17; It’s high time the plight of farmers in Odisha who are encountering extreme crisis in form of crop loss due to pest attack ought to be ameliorated by initiatives of both the centre and state. At this hour of crisis, blame game needs to be relegated to the rear to save the distressed farmers.
Union Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on a two-day visit to the state said today saying that treading charges is not desirable at time when farmers are facing grave situation. to
With drought conditions prevailing in 14 districts, farmers are facing acute crop loss. The areas, known as the rice bowl of the state, are hit by drought-like situation and pest menace,” said Shekhawat, who is on a two-day visit to the state to review the problems facing the farmers.
Describing farmers as “annadata” (food providers), he said this is not the time to indulge in blame game and find fault with each other. It is necessary to hold the hand of the distressed farmers in order to give succour to them, he said.
The minister, who held a preliminary review meeting with state government officials here on crop loss caused by drought and pest attacks, said his visit is aimed at understanding the problems faced by the farmers and find solutions.
The Centre would also find ways and means of extending assistance and cooperation to the state government to enable it to deal with the farmers woes, said Shekhawat, who is accompanied by a central team comprising experts.
Stating that he would visit the affected areas including Bargarh till tomorrow, the minister said he would also meet affected farmers and family members of those who have committed suicide.
The Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is scheduled to visit Ganjam district, where paddy crops have been severely hit due to pest attack, he said.
Replying to charges levelled by a section of the BJD leaders that his visit is an interference on state affairs, the minister said it is the duty of the Centre to address the farmers? issues and the visit of the central team is aimed at reviewing the situation and working together with the state to end peasants miseries.
During the meeting between the central team and state officials today, the state government urged the union minister to take steps for modifying guidelines and hike compensation by 50 per cent to affected farmers.
Agriculture Secretary Saurabh Garg said the central team was apprised about the situation in areas affected by pest attacks and steps taken to deal with the problem.
“We also told them about the the package announced by the Chief Minister for the affected farmers,” he said.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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