More than 74,000 hectares of agricultural land in the nine hill districts of Uttarakhand, which produces half of state’s crop yield, is estimated to be drought-hit, a recent study by the government has revealed.
The drought assessment report by the state agriculture department has found that more than 50% of farmland in the nine hill districts of the state is drought-hit.
The report has been sent to the government to work out a compensation plan for farmers, said Ranbir Singh, additional chief secretary of agriculture.
“According to the drought assessment report almost 50% of farmland in the hills is drought-hit. Most of the assessed drought-hit locations fall in hill districts,” he said.
“The report has been sent to the state government and the state disaster management department for further action.”
Officials said the drought is the result of 71% deficit post winter rainfall in 2015, 46% deficit winter rain in the months of January and February this year and almost 20% rain deficit in the pre-monsoon months of March, April and May.
Besides the nine hill districts, Dehradun, Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar constitute more than two-thirds of total 7.8 lakh hectares of agricultural land in the state.
Chief secretary Shatrughna Singh said that work is on to prepare a compensation package plan for farmers in the drought-hit areas. “The drought assessment report has been readied and efforts are on to work out a compensation package plan,” he said.
“Once the compensation plan is ready it will be sent to the governor for his approval,” the chief secretary said, adding that farmers in drought-hit areas will be duly compensated for their crop loss.